Adelaide Fringe 2012
Rachel and Julie are two friends with big dreams and high expectations in life. They embark on a journey that hits them with the harsh realities leading to quarter-life crises. While they are stuck pondering existentialism and where their lives are headed, their friends and acquaintances seem to moving ahead, settling down, getting married, starting families and enjoying their careers. Their grim situation is peppered with good humour, and light-heartedness making it a very enjoyable performance—and one that mirrors the insecurities and despairs that nearly everyone faces after graduation.
Meet Julie and Rachel, two typical Gen Y friends—they have the power to make their own choices and decisions in life. However, the world is not quite their oyster after graduation. Their degrees land them in dead-end retail jobs where they start to notice the changes. They no longer have the energy or fast metabolism, their friends seem to be settling down in their careers and buying houses, decent single men are rare, and a bottle of wine is all they can afford. The only solution to their problems is to travel, of course, but a fast-depleting bank account lands them back in mundane retail jobs in a foreign country that only amplifies their grim situation and few prospects. Throughout their journey they provide valuable advice on how to survive the ¼ Pounding—how to handle bad dates and one night stands, knowing your body’s limits when going out, how to recognise the boyfriend and job of your dreams. It is a show that entertains, connects with the audience and gives hope that twenty-something year olds will come out of the pounding stronger and wiser.
Mel Dodge and Nicola Colson give brilliant performances that strike chords with the audience. They connect with each other and the audience in a very witty and clever manner. The stories and their experiences ring true to those that many in Generation Y have experienced already, or are anticipating and the majority of the audience laughed when they recognised their own experiences played out. The actors are comical and not afraid to exaggerate the emotions and ideas surrounding the quarter-life crisis creating ridiculous yet believable scenarios.
The staging and direction cleverly transitioned each scene, with minimal props representing a variety of settings. The soundtrack and lighting were minimal as well, but it was the script that had the starring role in this production. It was honest, flowed well, connected the themes, and the dialogue was straightforward and so true to life that it made the show all the more entertaining. The only criticism is that the ending was not as strong as the opening scene and witty dialogue throughout; it had a poignant ending that seemed somewhat out of place and despondent in comparison to the laugh out loud hilarity that flowed through the play.
This play is highly entertaining and connects emotionally with the audience thanks to the universal themes and narratives. The audience anticipated every joke and responded well to the little jibes and rubs at Gen Y. The open ending suggests that perhaps in a few years we will be hearing about the 1/3 Pounding, which will hopefully end on a more decisive and positive note.