14/08/2014 - 23/08/2014
Matso, Resa and Panda welcome you into their mysterious, magical world – a world so different, yet all too familiar …
CHOICE!! is a brand new satirical comedy set in YOUR life. Yes yours – where too much choice is never enough and the shopping channel just keeps playing. With robots, ropes, and ridiculous ranting, this show will engage you with some of the most hilariously truthful moments we all experience everyday. Our mix of daring physical comedy and brilliantly sharp wit will do what all good satire does – make you positively giddy with laughter, then punch you in the stomach. Expect to leave with all five senses (six if you’re lucky) tingling!
Directed by renowned New Zealand actor and director Stuart Devenie (with over 40 years of professional theatre, film and radio experience) and devised by our cast Matt Powell, Andrew Kaye and Sera Devcich (with 40 years experience between them), this show is unlike anything you would have seen before.
14-23 August 2014
Review by Ross MacLeod 17th Aug 2014
Upon entering the theatre to the colourful, eclectic recycled set, I am hit by a certain childlike nostalgia, one of primary school haunted houses and papier-mâché creations. While Choice!! is most certainly not a show for children, there is a strong feel of youth here. It’s like a well crafted children’s show for adults.
There’s the brightly coloured, multi layered set, packed to the brim like a hidden object puzzle. There’s the hyperactive, exaggerated characters in weird costumes going about over-the-top renditions of everyday life. There’s the surreal drift between scenes. And there’s the message – here one of consumerism – ever present but most of the time held back from feeling heavy handed by sharp writing and strong performances.
As in good children’s shows the performances are the right combination of fun and energy balanced by focus and precision. Matt Powell revels in extended physicality and equally exaggerated facial expressions; Sera Devcich shifts smoothly from wide eyed innocence to shrewish grumping and Andrew Kaye moves from nerdishness to creepy high-speed sales patter.
The three main cast move from role to role, interacting organically but never letting the energy flag. Supporting them, clearing the stage between bits are two strange creatures (Frankie Vallis and Annah Jacobs), again lending to the TV show feel, appearing to be post-apocalyptic scavengers.
The show moves from sketch to sketch, with some recurring plot threads: an All Black increasingly burdened with product placement, a housewife obsessed with keeping up with her neighbours, a robotic toy encroaching on a family and a working man gradually overwhelmed by the excess of brands given to him. As a devised work, there are a few orphaned plotlines that feel like they might reappear but don’t; a new fast food worker and a bizarre pop group among them.
A little out of place, but undoubtedly worthy of inclusion, is a monologue by Devcich. Finely crafted and expertly performed, it is a moving piece, an oddly positive feeling moment of reflection among the black humour of the show. It’s a little undercut by the epilogue to another storyline directly after but the show then pulls it back for a curtain call as unexpected as the rest of the show.
Choice!! is an unusual, original piece of work, full of fun performances, darkly surreal laughs, a great set and some clever effects.
Copyright © belongs to the reviewer