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Adelaide Fringe 2014

FOMO: The Fear Of Missing Out

Present Tense & Radio Adelaide

Genre: Mainstream Theatre

Venue: Radio Adelaide – 228 North Terrace, Adelaide


Low Down

The show is a radio monologue where the audience experiences the on-air and off-air drama that is Zoe Macdonald’s life as it happens. When a laid-back producer, perky British co-host, and the nervous Zoe analyse her Facebook friends, statuses, and then invite her beautician to comprehend why Zoe suffers from FOMO. Naturally, chaos ensues interspersed with choice radio advertisements featuring Mel B sponsoring Jenny Craig, Sergio the Zumba instructor and the latest apparatus that guarantees a fitter, more toned physique with minimum effort. These characters and the increasing number of young people suffering from FOMO is a recipe for laughter, stereotypes and an existential crisis. 


Pamela, radio show producer by night and amateur, budding poet by day, welcomes us and tells us the story of Zoe Macdonald and her FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) the latest condition spreading amongst the younger generations. Zoe’s effervescent co-host Jill seizes this opportunity to thoroughly dissect and analyse Zoe’s life in order to establish why she is suffering from FOMO, what causes it and how it can be cured. However, the show becomes a fiasco when Zoe’s beautician (who ticks all of the boxes when it comes to the stereotypes) is a guest, caller Dina offers her strong opinions on female empowerment, and Jessica, Zoe’s supposed childhood bestie, gate crashes the show to lay to rest some ghosts from the past. In between the evaluations, calls, and abuse Mel B, Sergio and various other spokespeople and advertisers promote absurd, yet highly appropriate, products and offers that on some level promise to cure the FOMO. The guerrilla waxing also received loud laughter from the audience, but whether this helped cure anything is yet to be determined.


The performance is off to a promising start when the audience milling around the entrance are frisked, surveyed and cleared by Maureen, the security officer. She directs us to the performance space ensuring that we all adhere to the proper protocols where we are then given headphones through which we can listen to the dialogue and envisage the ambiance and setting with the background music. Zoe Macdonald who plays all of the roles in this performance is brilliant as she makes the seamless transition between characters without missing a beat, and effectively telling the story of one person through the voices and perspectives of several others.


The script is witty, the banter uproarious and each character is so uniquely different, which makes it easy for the audience to keep up with the story and events unfolding in the studio. The use of headphones, studio equipment and music added to the authenticity of performance and comedy. The show was enjoyable on a number of levels—at face value it’s a light-hearted entertaining radio monologue, but most young people who suffer from FOMO will be able to relate to Zoe’s compunctions about life. Dig a little deeper and some of Zoe’s inner-musings are revealed, and interviews with her parents at the end reveal whether or not they think she suffers from FOMO.


This was an enjoyable performance by an incredibly talented and perceptive actor, which left the audience in tears of laughter.