Monday, 18 February 2013

out of place: atyp

out of place
The Voices Project, atyp: January 30 - February 16, 2013

Out of Place presents ten, seven minute monologues that are both humourous and dark, moving and disturbing. Directed by Paige Raffray and forming part of The Voices Project, the work of young Australian playwrights is showcased perfectly and performed by a brilliant young cast. 

Each monologue flows seamless onto the next despite the fact that each are very separate and touch on very different issues. There is the girl who, when out in the quarry with friends (Falling Through the Blue/Grey), one of the friends little brother falls and is killed. She feels the loss and carries the blame for the incident, told with the awkwardness of a teenager. The boy who is a clown (These Things Happen) and feels the sting of social exclusion and mockery. He is hit on by mothers at children's birthday parties and even his own girlfriend cannot stand the sight of him as she fears clowns. He is standing on the edge, poised to jump, but he doesn't.  

Peach, written by Izzy Roberts-Orr and performed by Georgia Brindley

The school girl on an excursion to the museum who sees her Chinese heritage in the artifacts on display (Red Panda). She begins to question her identity and whether her ignorance of it is slowly destroying her ancestry until it too can only be found in a museum. The girl who is studying at a friends place and asks about sex (Private Research). Her virginity is a result of her cultural upbringing but her natural curiosity will not waver. She is embarrassed and unsure yet quietly determined.

Perhaps for me the most moving monologue was Sunrise Set, written by Krystal Sweedman. A young girl rushes to her grandmothers bedside, her laptop grasped earnestly in hand. She is trying to show her grandmother a video, or she would if the internet connection wouldn't continuously drop out. Her constant frustration at this provides some humour in an increasingly somber moment. It becomes clear that the grandmother was at one stage a great singer and the girl had promised to show her footage of her singing before she died. As with so many things, life gets in the way and it becomes obvious the girl has arrived too late. You see the recognition dawn on her face a moment before she draws the covers up over her grandmothers head. Then she sings to her one last time. Beautifully portrayed by Charlotte Tilelli, Sunrise Set reminds us that sometimes all we really have is this moment.

The monologues that make up Out of Place are intensely varied but carry with them this sense of exposure. We are seeing beyond the facade into the minds of these people and are privy to the conversations they have with themselves when they are alone. Often heartbreaking but always punctuated with a degree of humour, Out of Place calls to the awkward teenager in us all and reassures them they are not alone.       
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