Adelaide Fringe 2014
‘When I Grow Up’ Is a one woman show based around the passage from childhood to adulthood and all the painful moments in between. The star performer, Juliette, uses well-crafted monologues and multimedia to take the audience on a (mostly) humorous journey through a series of job choices she made as a child. The lessons you learn along the way however, are quite unexpected.
From the moment you walk into the simple Channel 9 Studio space and perch yourself on one of the few seats in front of a solitary projection screen and table, you feel like you’re going to be part of an intimate theatre experience.
The vivacious Juliette, wearing a cheery floral tea dress, instantly captivates you with her animated descriptions of childhood ambitions. She wanted be a ballet dancer, an actress, a writer, a baker and among other things, a Muppet. With the use of witty and well-crafted monologues she takes the audience through each ambition one by one, exploring their childhood appeal and using multimedia to demonstrate her failed efforts at becoming each and every one.
Film footage of various members of the public being interviewed about their ambitions and current vocations complimented Juliette’s message, some opening the audience up to the idea that naïve childhood notions can be realised at any point in your life, if you’re willing to give it a go.
Whilst most of the performance held a somewhat Bridget Jones-esque charm with Juliette’s often self-deprecating humour, it does take an emotional turn, revealing the darker side of Juliette’s journey into adulthood. While this could put a rather distressing taint on things, our protagonist brings it around with beautifully moving dialogue that inspires us keep our perspectives in check and hang on to that simple childhood love of being alive.
Although there was much focus on the trials and tribulations of the passage from childhood to adulthood, this piece also pulled at the heart strings of the more senior members of the audience, reminding them that they still had time to be who they’ve always wanted to be.
This is modest, honest humour at its best, executed in a way that will leave you laughing, crying and questioning your own concepts of adulthood simultaneously. A current, relevant and engaging performance which was truly a pleasure to watch.