Thursday November 14th, 2014
Written by Tammy Weller, directed by Julia Richardson and performed by three strapping young women, the opening night audience of Milkbar Theatre’s Single Admissions had a 3:13 male to female ratio. This play gives a very raw view of three females in their young twenties, and may struggle to escape the feminist label. But it isn’t. A feminist play that is.
The title, themes and noticeable female presence in Milkbar theatre’s Single Admissions challenge why it is that ‘single’ is scarier and, maybe, a much bigger deal for women than it is men. However, I’m struggling to categorise it as feminist because I feel it has nothing to preach and it’s core values, which lie in the importance of friendship and being true to oneself, supersede its stabs at gender equality.
Wellers script talks overtly and constantly about sex. But it’s not sexy, and Richardson does well in avoiding the ‘sexy’ pathway. There is a lot of crude and bold language, but it’s not intended to be confronting, and again Richardson gets this. Rather, the lingo and language in Single Admissions is a vocabulary that any twenty something year old female is familiar with and the topic is something we all have innately in common. Sex. And that’s what had us all laughing.
Single Admissions is not particularly sophisticated or complex. The story is simple, the dance moves and soundtrack are familiar and awesome, and the three personalities of the performers light up the stage bringing life and reality to the perhaps superficial storyline. It was the performers, who embraced their stereotyped ‘girlfriend’ characters and peppered them with their own visible personalities, which really sold it for me.
It was refreshing to see a show that was short and sweet. One act straight through, Single Admissions had me laughing and at the same time intellectually engaged. I was entertained. I enjoyed it. And this is more I can say of some of the longer, more complex and confusing Fringe and Melbourne Festival shows I’ve seen more recently.
But perhaps to call this storyline superficial is unkind. The journey of the characters is predictable, but we like that. The layering of truth woven beneath, for example, the ‘Slut Bus’ scene gives this play depth. Single Admissions cleverly addresses the titles, labels and conundrums young women face, without being a ‘feminist’ play, or at least overtly so. Perhaps because there are no males present on stage, we see that these problems exist not only in the language, perspectives and attitudes of men, but of women: of mothers, peers, of Disney princess’ and importantly, ourselves.
Gasworks Art Park – Albert Park.
Thursday 13th November @ 7:00pm
Friday 14th November @ 7:00pm
Saturday 15th November @ 2:00pm
Saturday 15th November @ 7:00pm
Thursday 20th November @ 7:00pm
Friday 21st November @ 7:00pm
Saturday 22nd November @ 2:00pm
Saturday 22nd November @ 7:00pm
GET TICKETS HERE: http://www.gasworks.org.au/buy-tickets/