on now, Review

REVIEW | Trust Me, It’s The End Of Our World After All | A twisty post-apocalyptic drama

Review | Laura Money

Beyond The Yard Theatre tackle a theatrical escape room in their one-room drama, Trust Me, It’s The End Of Our World After All – a clever title tat alludes to not only an apocalyptic setting but the caving in of the characters’ realities. Entering The Blue Room Theatre‘s Studio space through the thick bunker doors, the set designed by Owen Davis is dramatic and complex. Featuring curved walls and bunk beds, every bit of the structure feels legitimately like being in a bunker at the end of the world. Set against the backdrop of a mysterious virus and apocalyptic conditions, Trust Me, It’s The End Of Our World After All deals with family dynamics, nostalgia, and human nature in a pressurised situation.

At the heart of this show is a family drama – full of secrets, lies, and complex familial relationships. Strip away the bunker, the end of the world, the rationing and Virus X and it distils into a family who is distrustful of one another, yet wholly supportive at the same time. Writer Terence Smith has clearly taken some cues from childhood and coming of age, as Marcus (Liam Longley) doesn’t need the trappings of the bunker to tell his story. For him, it’s all about latent sexual awakenings, identity, and exploring his sexuality – culminating in acceptance. Trapped in the bunker underground for five years with his older sisters, Marcus enjoys a gay baptism by fire in the pressure-cooker situation that takes a normal queer teenager and heightens every element of his life. Longley perhaps plays Marcus a bit too naive, at times he comes across as babyish – the character does suffer from arrested development being trapped in a bunker for his teen years, but he was still not that young when he went in.

The entire aesthetic is a chaotic pastiche of nostalgia, from the Bowie records and vintage 80s and 90s stars adorning the walls to the obsession with Labyrinth and playing Monopoly (a perfect metaphor, as I don’t think I know any family who comes out of Monopoly unscathed) combined with glitchy video diaries of the character’s thoughts, everything looks like it’s yearning for a world pre pandemic. This is typical of Gen Z’s obsession with Millennials’ era (Friends is my favourite tv show, anyone?) but plays into the definition of nostalgia – the past is a foreign country and you can’t go back. Anyway, this millennial loved the vibe! In all honesty, the videos could be dropped, they don’t serve the plot and are seemingly in real time so don’t really help much. They would be much better if they were filmed after the events and were being replayed throughout but I understand why this can’t happen.

Holly (Bubble Maynard) does a great job of keeping everyone together. It is only when she loses the plot so too does everyone else. Maynard is a great performer, her portrayal of Holly is self-assured and strong – she’s a great character. As the tensions rise, however she does lose momentum and if she only explained herself a lot of heartache could be avoided. Carrie (Bianca Roose) is a typical younger sister – her energy knows no bounds. Always trying to prove herself, it’s interesting to see how often she still defers to Holly. Roose contains Carrie’s energy well, only unleashing the crazy in certain scenes. And then along comes Rich (Joe Haworth) swaggering into the piece like every YA novel cocksure antihero love interest ever written. His character is perhaps the most trite but played brilliantly by Haworth – if you want to get up and slap him, he’s doing a great job!

The conclusion of Trust Me, It’s The End Of Our World After All is a bit anti-climactic – the stakes could have been higher and the reasoning behind all the character’s actions bigger. Then again, the fact that is was really at the heart of the matter about family and the drama is contained within that framework is a clever snub to the environment, proving that despite how bad the world gets, it’s the issues that are close to home that are worth fighting for. Interpret the show either way, but you will definitely be entertained no matter what.

Trust Me, It’s The End Of Our World After All is on at The Blue Room Theatre until 3rd September 2022. TICKETS

The Fourth Wall acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land we engage in storytelling on – the Wadjhuk people of the Noongar nation. We pay respects to their elders past, present, and emerging.

Keep up with The Fourth Wall on Facebook and @fourth_wall_media on Instagram to see what we’re up to in 2022.

on now, Review

REVIEW | WALK | Immersive choreography across a stunning dreamscape

Review | Laura Money

Described as an immersive, dreamlike experience WALK embodies this from the outset. The Blue Room Theatre production takes you through a stunning dreamscape designed by Opie Robinson – floating amongst clouds and shedding the reality of the world behind as you find a place in Bobby Russell‘s unique consciousness. If that sounds dramatic, it’s because the pure theatricality of WALK sets you up for the immersive and adrenaline-fuelled experience you are about to witness. The set proper looms in semi darkness. Huge structures reaching the ceiling and spreading across the floor of mismatched swatches of fabrics paired with a low throbbing soundtrack by Peter McAvan puts you on edge, bristled with anticipation.

There is tension at the start of the piece – sitting in the dim light, the set appears to move in an optical illusion worthy of a dream, and the constant thrum adopts an almost heartbeat rhythm. Just as you’re falling under a flash of light dazzles you and Joe Lui‘s brilliant lighting design hits over and over. Each flash gives you a glimpse of Russell as they move from state to state throughout their own personal dreamscape. Bathed in green, pulsing light Russell moves through the set to a McAvan’s simple yet effective music. They move as if finding their feet, crawling and clawing in a primeval struggle to exist. Russell walks through their own evolution – at times struggling, at times battle-scarred and triumphant – taking us through the very formation of self and the world to medieval constructs of bravery, and ending with the rebirth of the century.

WALK ends in a celebration of self. Russell leans in to the kitsch and pure joy to be had bopping around in your bedroom lip syncing to a tuuuuune. Free of the shackles and restraints they needed to be held back by to reach this point, they release themselves in a celebration of self and victory. The nightmare may be over, but WALK is a candid exploration of how every part of ourselves – the good, the bad, the easy and the hard – culminate in our sense of self. Identity is a murky journey and this work proves you must WALK before you can run.

You can catch WALK at The Blue Room Theatre until 30th July 2022. TICKETS

The Fourth Wall acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land we engage in storytelling on – the Wadjhuk people of the Noongar nation. We pay respects to their elders past, present, and emerging.

Keep up with The Fourth Wall on Facebook and @fourth_wall_media on Instagram to see what we’re up to in 2022

on now, Review

REVIEW | Earthside | Giving birth, no one can hear you scream…

Review | Laura Money

Entering The Blue Room Theatre for Earthside feels a lot like boarding a space-craft. You are greeted by performer Kaitlin Tinker dressed in a boiler suit looking every bit like Ellen Ripley herself. Once you’re strapped in and ready for launch, Tinker gently guides you through her traumatic birth story. But don’t worry – this show isn’t tragic or even depressing (granted, it may be triggering for some but does not seek to minimise people’s experiences) it is a truth-telling memoir using the impressive metaphor of space travel and female autonomy in film.

Using space travel as an analogy for childbirth, Tinker navigates her way through the story with humour and multiple references to science fiction. Much like childbirth, a theatre piece is not a one-woman show and Earthside features a great set consisting of a shuttle chair with multiple compartments and stunning graphics by Jeremy Turner create a space-like quality. Tinker ties her story together brilliantly, prefacing it with ‘yes, at some point something will burst from my chest’ and we all wait for it to happen. The alien chest-bursting is such a clever reference – it’s the sci-fi equivalent of ‘the money shot’ and the only part people usually care about in any birth story – boy or girl? Did it cry? Ok, I guess we’re all done now (no consideration for the placenta or stitches or even the mother’s well-being.)

Tinker is a great performer. She is highly engaging and goes through every bit of her story again and again. Her dogged determination to be heard is touching and even though there are lots of laughs, expect a few tears to escape too. Earthside is touching and funny, performed with guts by a super badass mother – it’s childbirth but not as you know it.

You can catch Earthside at The Blue Room Theatre until 7th May 2022. TICKETS

The Fourth Wall acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land we engage in storytelling on – the Wadjhuk people of the Noongar nation. We pay respects to their elders past, present, and emerging.

Keep up with The Fourth Wall on Facebook and @fourth_wall_media on Instagram to see what we’re up to in 2022

on now, Review, Summer Nights

SUMMER NIGHTS 2022 | Takatapui | REVIEW

Review | Laura Money

Writer and performer Daley Rangi slowly but surely details the events of a single night of a (bad doesn’t even come close) dating experience. Amidst a haunting soundscape elegantly designed by Anesu Matondo, the effect of candid storytelling akin to a beat poet’s is jolting in its impact. Armed only with a microphone, a mixing board, and a magnetic personality they unpack the events with an emotionally haunting eloquence. Takatapui is a proud piece of theatre that invites you in for a symbolic embrace (Daley doesn’t like physical ones) and holds you in their kind openness.

Rangi’s commitment to your comfort is refreshingly welcome as they ensure the door remains open. Such a simple gesture is enough to sum up the show – it demonstrates kindness, an understanding of healing processes, and invites contemplation – all present in Rangi’s story. Interspersed between explorations of sound, random thoughts, philosophical ones, and disco interludes, Takatapui is part story and part philosophy, it both recounts it and reflects on it, hoping that by thinking deeply around trauma one can rewrite the narrative. Rangi’s is a powerful voice in the world. They probe their bruises and display them as badges of honour but wish they weren’t there at all. The story is approached in a free written monologue that is lyrical and humourous and painfully beautiful. It experiments with sound and manipulates parts of the story to provide a bigger impact – horrendous refrains of hate language on repeat but altered in an attempt to parody them into insignificance.

Takatapui deftly pulls the chaotic thoughts from a neurodivergent head and weaves them into a stunning piece of spoken word literature. Rangi is an instantly sympathetic figure, enveloping the audience with their emotional prose and gentle soul. The intensity rises in parts, spiking when recalling violence but also anxious thoughts. Strap in to the roller coaster that is Takatapui because although it’s a bit of a scary ride, the view is beautiful and Rangi will keep you safe.

You can catch all the action with Daley at The Blue Room until 12th February 2022. TICKETS

Keep up with The Fourth Wall on Facebook and @fourth_wall_media on Instagram to see what we’re up to this SUMMER NIGHTS 2022

The Fourth Wall acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land we engage in storytelling on – the Wadjhuk people of the Noongar nation. We pay respects to their elders past, present, and emerging.

on now, Review, Summer Nights

SUMMER NIGHTS 2022 | Leo/Taurus/Taurus | REVIEW

Review | Laura Money

Are you INFJ? Ravenclaw or Hufflepuff? What are your humours like? What kind of cupcake are you? These questions and many more are explored in this rich and humourous piece of theatre, stunningly performed by five exceptional talents and created by a loving team of artists. This warm hug of a show explores humanity’s obsession with labels and boxes, proving an innate sense of wanting to fit in and be seen. It’s a fun and fresh approach to an age old phenomenon, and despite being funny it’s also deep and contemplative.

Beginning with the four young performers standing together looking up as constellations are projected throughout the room. The gentle stylings of live sound designer Georgina Cramond washing over them as they examine people’s obsession with the stars – astrology and astronomy alike. Ruby Liddelow, Andrea Lim, Lily Murrell and Lainey O’Sullivan all take a different way of categorising people and explore it in a series of spoken word pieces, sketches, dance, comedy, and song that are fun and memorable. From the little singing plant who wants to meet their perfect Taurus owner, to the Four Humours enjoying very different experiences at King’s Park the show is punctuated by contemplation and introspection. Cramond’s sound design and music is stunning – vibing with the performers in a perfect match. Their chemistry is heartwarming, and this cute little indie show will keep you grinning all night, even as you try to figure out what kind of personality you have.

Murrell is hilarious as she attempts to guess an audience member’s star sign based on a series of questions. The idea of star signs, these little feudal system-rigid trait spinners is scrutinised alongside more ancient ideas. Murrell also slays as a Kinsey-type professor delivering a ‘Bed Talk’ about love languages. Nods and chuckles of assent as people recognise their traits turning to laughter at her whacky antics. Liddelow tackles ancient ideals with a humour-filled explanation of the humours – her calm demeanour playful and not quite convincing. Lim is so funny leaning into the #metime stereotype and gives an impassioned monologue about identity in a moment of introspection. It is O’Sullivan however that has the task of delving into the Meyer’s-Briggs test and approaches it in a hilarious Russian accented piece of audience participation that is eagerly received.

As much fun as it is putting oneself in a box and agreeing to personality tests when they’re flattering (hello Gryffindor) but scoffing when they’re not (Hufflepuff? Huff…), Leo/Taurus/Taurus recognises the dangers of relying too much on arbitrary forces or questions to determine identity. Autonomy, wisdom, experience, and intuition all combine to create our distinctions – a conclusion drawn by the amazing devisors of the show. But then again, Murrell is right when it comes to the audience member’s star sign, so who knows? From this Ravenclaw, Sanguine, ENTP, Pisces reviewer, I say it’s still a topic worth exploring. Oh, I’m also a vanilla-matcha cupcake, FYI!

You can see which type you are at The Blue Room until 12th February 2022. TICKETS

Keep up with The Fourth Wall on Facebook and @fourth_wall_media on Instagram to see what we’re up to this SUMMER NIGHTS 2022

The Fourth Wall acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land we engage in storytelling on – the Wadjhuk people of the Noongar nation. We pay respects to their elders past, present, and emerging.