BATS Theatre, The Dome, 1 Kent Tce, Wellington

20/02/2024 - 24/01/2024

NZ Fringe Festival 2024

Production Details

Performed and Written by Viki Moananu
Directed by Lizzy Burton-Wood

Oh That Theatre Company

“In the stomach of the icky and yucky process that is grief, ‘Icky’ is a dramedy about the titular Icky, a struggling university student processing their father’s death. They retell moments, thoughts and stories throughout their life, however as Icky unravels these stories they realise that there’s a more sinister truth they have yet to process”

Icky is the Winner of Best Play by a Pasifika Playwright for the Adams NZ Play Award 2023, as well as shortlisted in Playmarket’s Playwrights B425 competition. Icky is a story that finds our protagonist reevaluating life in the most reasonable way possible. By blowing it up.

BATS Theatre, The Dome
20th-24th February 2024,
Full Price : $22
Concession : $18
Group 6+ : $20
The Difference: $40

Book tickets at fringe.co.nz or bats.co.nz

Lighting Design by Angela Pelham
Stage Management by Stephanie David

Theatre , Solo ,

60 Minutes

There’s nothing icky about Icky. Go experience.

Review by Margaret Austin 21st Feb 2024

If someone asks me if I’ve seen Icky currently at BATS Dome, I’d say I haven’t so much seen it as experienced it. I’m not sure I’d even call it a performance, given the nuances of forcedness and falsity that word may imply.

Although at the outset, a figure covered in a plump eiderdown bearing the words Tartare Sauce seemingly trapped in an armchair, is puzzling, the appearance of Icky (Vicki Moananu; they/them) replaces doubt with a solid presence. That is, physically solid, which indeed they are. But we have much to learn from this person: how emotional honesty and revelation does not destroy but can help heal. And that the treatment of that for the stage is not always self-indulgent and cringeworthy.

They are immediately upfront about being gay. That said, unless you’ve had the good fortune to see the film Call Me by your Name, their observations about it would go over your head. We get to hear about taking film as part of varsity studies, and that’s not the only thing they’re sceptical about. “If you’re a minority, you can throw the word ‘problematic’ about,” they muse. And about their Dad: “He’s always been straight, but now he’s religious.”

A comic overlay serves to lighten the serious nature of Icky’s main theme. They’ve got their Dad’s death to struggle with. We’re reminded of Dad (who couldn’t afford the traditional tattoo) by his message, “That’s life, isn’t it?” which we hear repeatedly. And Mum? From Buddism to Jehovah witnessing – her presence still hovers. But Icky doesn’t believe in trauma: “You’re either broken or you’re not.”

We’re brought firmly down to earth with a flashback to a policemen’s question: “Are you Icky?” They’ve been asked to identify their father’s body. Is this what gives rise to the trauma? We’re not sure, but now we have Ricky’s kiss and a rendition of ‘It’s Raining Men’.

Mention must be made of the sound effects in this production and how they are handled. Operator Lizzy Burton-Wood creates these from a corner of the space. In particular, a loud and increasingly insistent rapping emphasises the action and creates tension. As well, her words are inserted into Icky’s monologue at telling moments.

Staging consists of a large centrally placed wooden frame, which Icky confronts, addresses and questions. In the play’s final moments, it takes on special significance – and even tartare sauce has a part to play.

Icky is an extraordinary production – in both concept and delivery. It’s difficult to do it justice in a review. Congratulations to director Lizzy Burton-Wood and all others involved.

There’s nothing icky about Icky. Go experience.


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