19/02/2015 - 28/02/2015
IF YOUR BODY COULD TALK, WHAT WOULD IT SAY?
THIN takes you right in to the complicated and conflicting mind – well, mostly body – of Brie, a young woman chasing an impossible dream that she has been taught to want.
In Brie’s brain, there is only one way to perfection. But it’s a long way and Brie’s feet are getting sick of pulling more than their weight. And they’re not the only ones who have something to say.
“I’ve always had a strange relationship with my feet,” says writer Neenah Dekkers-Reihana. “And my stomach. I always think it’s angry with me when I eat a cream donut or if I forget to eat. And when my feet ache I imagine them complaining to me.”
This fast-paced, physical piece of theatre will keep you squirming on the edge of your seat as you see the world through Brie’s distorted perception.
What does Brie want? How far is she willing to go to get it?
Who is she going to listen to?
Strange and honest, weirdly funny, THIN is a show that will make you laugh and cringe. So bring your comfort food and come and meet the rest of Brie’s … friends.
19th-21st & 26th-28th February
The Moorings, 31 Glenbervie Terrace, Thorndon
TICKETS: $15/$10 SPECIAL $7.50 for all on opening night!!
Mia van Oyen
Lighting design: Jennifer Lal
Stage managed & operated by Kate Burian
Upbeat exploration of a serious issue
Review by John Smythe 20th Feb 2015
Small businesses and creative enterprises often start up as family affairs, especially when commitment to the cause needs to compensate for a lack of funds to pay wages, and Thin is just such an example. Written and directed by Neenah Dekkers-Reihana, it also features her brother, sister and mother – plus five other committed colleagues.
The Moorings is a highly convivial setting for such a casually presented show – ingeniously contrived and thoroughly rehearsed yet casual in the lead-up as we wait amiably for the last people to get to this difficult-to-get-to and hard-to-park-near venue. Here’s a first: the final arrival earns a round of applause!
On descending into the ‘ballroom’, greeted by an academic-gowned woman (Carolyn Dekkers), we have seen the emaciated effigy of a young woman hanging in space, above the performance space. This is in marked contrast to a brief acrobatic display by Mia van Oyen (about 9 yrs old would be my guess), who also operates as a moral watchdog on the language others lapse into.
Thin explores the phenomenon of eating disorders through the experience of one character, Bri (Sylvie McCreanor), who “didn’t do it on purpose … just wanted to be …” Her words recur like themes in a symphony. Other elements are repeated too, emphasising the cyclic and persistent nature of the affliction.
In whiteface with red insignia, other actors play her body parts which variously suffer and sometimes complain: the feet (Michael Trigg and Joe Dekkers-Reihana), the stomach (Alex Ker), the brain (Neenah Dekkers-Reihana). The heart is a prop until, in a dramatically touching moment, Mia van Oyen takes the role.
The malevolent voice inciting Bri to run and not eat in the quest for the body that will see her admired and loved as “the best” is hauntingly played by Dahl Dekkers-Reihana. Carolyn Dekkers plays Bri’s teacher, Robbie Nicol plays her hyper-caring doctor and the whole ensemble becomes her class-mates, peer group pressure ‘friends’, and her family.
The song they sing as they gather at the dinner table is a joy. The whole presentation has a levity that compels us to comprehend how it is for a self-doubting young woman aching to be accepted in an upbeat world. Only at the very end is the message brought home didactically, albeit with another lively song.
If it weren’t for the large (and therefore uneconomical) cast, Thin would be an ideal theatre-in-education piece. More ingenuity could shrink the cast size – or the script could be promoted to high school drama groups. It certainly deserves wide exposure.
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