Adelaide Fringe 2011
Theatre participants from the Twelve25 Youth Enterprise Centre in Salisbury have worked together honing in their dramatic skills under the caring eyes of Urban Myth Theatre of Youth. A combined project engaging adolescents through creative arts, this group of teens not only put on two shows but also served the audience a three-course meal that would rival any Master Chef contestant!
The Role Model aims to question, excite and invigorate audience members to re-think societies expectations of celebrity sports men and women. Delivered as a rehearsal piece, the participants read from their scripts the tale of Scott, a retired swimming champion who after some bad press takes up a role as a ‘big brother’ for a disadvantaged teen.
The show provides an in-depth look at the power, pressure and performance of sports role models and the harsh reality of fame. Despite their nerves, Chantelle Craig delivers a solid performance as ‘Scott’ as does Kirsty Van der Veer as Scott’s ‘mother-like’ manager ‘Wanda.’
The Role Model is showcased in two blocks broken up with the offering of the main meal. This gave the audience an opportunity to discuss the performance and the issues highlighted in great lengths. There were a few moments of extended blackouts as patient audience members waited for scenes to begin but regardless, the supportive audience only had positive things to say.
After dessert, we were treated to the performance of Expectations; a series of scenarios investigating young people’s issues, relationships, abuse and dealing with sexuality.
This is a new work devised by the participants themselves. The six short pieces highlight for them pressures of being a young adult in today’s society and expectations from family and friends around them. The six cast members all offered a good performance, not letting their shyness get the better of them.
The staging and design of both performances was very basic and it would have been nice if scene and lighting changes were dealt with more swiftly (The crew were also members of Twelve25 and there were a lot of ‘first-timers’ for both cast and crew). Anna Watt (director) in conjunction with the supportive staff at Tweleve25 has done well to keep the cast motivated and engaged in such dense work. Perhaps some of the lengthy dialogue could have been broken up to assist with the cast learning their lines more easily.
A special mention must be giving to the Dramatic Food Cooking Program participants for treating us all to a very healthy and delicious meal. These participants have been learning about nutrition through the Shopfront’s ‘Healthy Weight’ program.
Overall, the participants are a solid group who showed their commitment and passion for social based community theatre. With more attention to detail in staging, lights and sound, this show has a lot of potential for future productions. It would be interesting to see these plays performed as completed pieces and re-mounted as a polished work at a later stage.