Revolt Melbourne – Theatrette, 12 Elizabeth St, Kensington, Melbourne, Australia

09/10/2012 - 14/10/2012

Melbourne Fringe Festival '12

Production Details

All around you people are buying houses, getting married, climbing the corporate ladder. You, however, are trapped in a cycle of indecision, hangovers, student debt, the onset of wrinkles, bingo wings and alcohol dependency.  

A comedy about expectations, friendship and the quarter life crisis. 

‘The truth hurts. Luckily it’s very funny!’ 4 Stars – Adelaide Fringe Guide. 

Revolt Melbourne – Theatrette
12 Elizabeth St, Kensington 3031 Victoria

Tuesday 9 – Sunday 14 October 2012

Times:  10.00pm, Sun 8.00pm

Full Price: $ 23
Concession: $ 18
Tuesday: $ 14  

1 hr

Comedic talents the highlight

Review by Emma Dockery 15th Oct 2012

I felt anxious sitting in the theatre waiting for The ¼ Pounding to begin. Would I be the 29 year old with no assets, no boyfriend and a slight alcohol dependency problem who ended up sobbing in the front row? I put down my wine. 

The ¼ Pounding charts the difficult period after university when it suddenly becomes clear your BA in Art History might not be the ticket to the high flying, dream job and instant success you thought it was going to be. Julie and Rachel, a marriage-oriented literature lover and a commerce graduate with dreams of becoming a CEO, get a rude awakening when their post university life becomes a string of dead end jobs, awful dates, and awkward phone calls with parents. 

The mid twenties with their disappointments and drinking have been a popular subject of late with several shows in the Melbourne Fringe dealing with similar concerns. Taking on the roles of Julie and Rachel, Mel Dodge and Nicola Colson approach the subject with enthusiasm and humour. The energy of their performances propels the show, making it seem shorter than its running time of 50 minutes.

This is The ¼ Pounding’s third incarnation after seasons in Wellington and Adelaide and it shows. The show is slick and tightly choreographed. Dodge and Colson perform large portions of the piece in complete synchronicity, a testament to their skill as performers and the show’s professionalism. 

The set and lighting are minimalist but effective. Boxes and clothes racks are employed to create a large number of settings and the use of light convincingly evokes everything from the cramped surrounds of economy air travel to a tanning salon. It’s an example of a ‘less is more’ approach that actually enhances the text.

The ¼ Pounding is at its best when highlighting the comedic talents of its performers. Dodge and Colson create a multitude of characters from unsuitable dates to pervy old ladies. The New Zealander’s in the crowd laughed out loud in recognition of the mother from Khandallah although this was lost on the Australian audience. The show features a lot of direct to audience narration, while this once might have been necessary to explain what a quarter life crisis is, the term is now so entrenched it seems unnecessary and detracts from the rapidly moving sketches.

The piece sticks to the lighter side of the subject, favouring the search for the perfect man or the overseas experience over the anxiety, boredom and insecurity that many people face at this age.

The play concludes with Julie and Rachel returning to New Zealand to take up a new job in civil service and further study as the solutions to their problem. I wanted to yell out to Julie, “Don’t do it!  A masters won’t get you that job!” The cynic in me would like to revisit these characters a few years down the track – when a desk job, post grad qualification or even a man has not provided the longed-for solution – for a darker take on this modern phenomenon.

Dodge and Colson are theatre makers who create enjoyable and engaging theatre. With both girls now a few years older than when the play was conceived, and settled in Melbourne (the program mentioning Colson has taken on a desk job), it would be fascinating to see them expand or rework this project into something more personal.

I would love to see them tackle this theme from the perspective of theatre makers. After all, nothing says quarter life crisis like the juggling of work and creating art, the necessity of a student lifestyle ten years after university and the ever present question: how long can I keep this up? 


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