In a 30 minute examination of what can only be called Bogan Existentialism, Don’t Be A C*** manages to explore the emotional and intellectual despair and misery of one of those obnoxious and thoroughly unpleasant type of party girls. Whilst intellectually stimulating and at times amusing, the show did suffer from nervous energy and technical problems.
First off, the show can’t be criticised for not being intellectually engaging. The “rules for not being a c***” (possibly an amusing dig at Jordan Peterson) were clever and spoofy enough to elicit laughs from the audience, whilst simultaneously being half-decent expressions of an existentialist philosophy (bordering on nihilism). What made the delivery spectacular was the high energy “obnoxious clubbing girl” character that delivered the words and ideas. The resulting juxtaposition was quite jarring and engaging.
Plus there were enough digs at both bogans and inner-city Melburnians to make it well balanced.
SuppliedCoupled with this was the rather darker look into unpleasant and embarrassing actions “done in the past” of the character. Periodically, in beautiful nihilistic expression, these expressions acted like a sudden break in the relentless energy of the “Bogan Existentialist” onstage, mingling regretful misery and acting as a reminder that underneath that optimistic exterior is a sea of regrets, misery, and confusion.
This negativity clashed with the bright and cheerful elements so much that they at times seemed like different shows – it was quite interesting and intellectually engaging.
Despite these positive attributes, the performance was let down by two key factors. The first of these were the several technical problems that plagued the performance. Despite heroic efforts to make them seem to be part of the play (including what were hopefully in-character attacks on the sound/lighting person), the mishaps of the lighting and delayed or out-of-sync sounds were distracting and built up unnecessary awkward tension in the audience. It also made some of the more poignant moments less impactful. The performance was also begun late due to technical difficulties, which may not have been fully resolved by the time of the performance.
Most likely tied to this was the fact the actor seemed to forget her lines on occasion, and most certainly seemed to be full of nervous energy. This could be due to first night nerves or being unsettled by tech troubles, but regardless it also reduced the impact of what was being said. Which was a shame, because the actual written dialogue and most of the delivery was pretty stellar. Furthermore, the forgotten lines also made the play seem a bit stilted – rather than smooth or deliberately sudden changes, the “scenes” would lurch and pause awkwardly at times, leaving the audience feeling a bit confused.
Although there were problems with the show (as noted above), it was not too bad. Well-paced, and oddly thought-provoking, the show needs tightening, but otherwise it was good and engaging. The flaws mentioned were outweighed ultimately by the wisdom and clever writing, and despite the technical difficulties, the show ultimately was great.
Don’t Be A C*** This Is How is on 8:30pm 18th-23rd Feb 2019 at The Butterfly Club.