Fortune Theatre, Dunedin

09/03/2018 - 10/03/2018

Dunedin Fringe 2018

Production Details

She was just a normal girl with normal hands, with one basic goal in life; to keep her African Violet plant alive.  Part physical comedy, part low-fi gig, HANDS! uses simplistic theatricality, storytelling and a sock to bring to life the world of a girl struck with the dilemma of seeping hands.  By Pip Smith, Matty Taylor and Mel Martin.

Runtime 45 mins

Ticket price range $10, concession $8

Booking details http://www.dunedinfringe.nz/

Theatre , Comedy ,

45 minutes

An interesting work

Review by Hannah Molloy 09th Mar 2018

There’s something about watching someone else scratching that makes me itchy. Watching Hands, performed by Pip Smith and Matty T Taylor with Laurie Hayes narrating, made me itch in a range of ways.

On the surface, the show is about a girl with eczema, but really it seems to be about a girl learning to fight her demons and find a way back to being her own whole self. There is a sense of being somewhere between dreaming an acid-fuelled dream and conducting a conversation with a dewy eyed babe in arms.  

Pip Smith is Aimee, a young woman who is suffering from excruciating and often gross pain in her hands. She and Matty T Taylor – whose main role is as Aimee’s shadow, playing the keyboard and mixing live performance seamlessly into recorded music – play a couple of other characters each as well, each of whom add to the mania and chaos on stage but don’t necessarily have an obvious relationship to the story or the other characters.

Laurie Hayes narrates the inside information and some instructions, supporting and bossing Aimee until she is ready to speak with her own voice. The soundscape is alternately menacingly heavy and discordant, leaving little rest for the audience. When she is ready, Aimee hides inside a chrysalis of white fabric, providing a beautiful and somehow peaceful counterpoint to the menace and frenzy that has gone before.

Hands is an interesting work that, with time, could perhaps develop some depth around issues of depression, self-worth, self-harm, healing and the importance we place on the grieving process associated with heartbreak. It doesn’t feel as though it’s finished yet but the cast works hard and are engaging all the way through. The set is quirky and charming and the music guides you through the chaos.  


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