Otago Pioneer Women's Hall, 362 Moray Place, Dunedin

28/03/2019 - 30/03/2019

Dunedin Fringe 2019

Production Details

A scientist stands on the verge of discovery, Sisyphus is busy pushing his boulder, and a little boy is left looking at the moon, wondering where the stars have gone.

Oh Substance is a one-man show, investigating how to eke out some kind of meaning from an otherwise messy and chaotic world. Characters begin distinct and separate, but as their journeys unfold, the lines between them begin to blur. The once random, individual threads weave together to form a complex tapestry of hopeful exuberance, crushed dreams, and everything in between.

What is it that gives things their meaning? Where is the soul in everything? How do we find the substance that breathes life into our bones? Come join Ezra Prattley for his debut Fringe performance, as he investigates how to reconcile human hope, doubt and determination in a world of constant change.

Warning: Contains mature themes.

Otago Women’s Pioneer Hall, 362 Moray Place, Dunedin
THU 28 – SAT 30 March 2019
$10.00 – $15.00
*Fees may apply  

Theatre , Solo ,

45 mins

Clever entwining of separate narratives

Review by Hannah Molloy 04th Apr 2019

Performing to an audience of two is difficult, especially when your show is spoken word, slipping in and out of intense narratives and characters. Being half of an audience of two is also tricky, maintaining eye contact without overdoing it, being responsible for picking up all the cues for emotional response … This adds a layer of tension to a show that perhaps isn’t useful for the performer or the performance.

Oh Substance, devised and performed by Ezra Prattley, takes place in the Otago Pioneer Women’s Association Hall, with seating close to the performance space and nowhere for anyone to escape or hide. Prattley looks a little taken aback when he emerges onto the stage and sees his tiny audience but he masks it beautifully and launches into his performance.

He slips from Sisyphus pushing his boulder to a scientist on the verge of discovery to a youth lost in admiration of the stars to a man declaring his obsessive love for a woman, each time with a brush of his fingers through his hair. The id beneath these egos is an addict, seeking his next fix (in this case, milk) which will send him through the stages of ecstasy, rage and dissolution before he awakes and is mortified by his lack of self-control.

The performance remains engaging and his script is clever, entwining the separate narratives so they become almost seamless. As it develops, Prattley will establish more connectivity between his characters and their stories and dreams.  


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