Sophie Joske is a talented young performer and writer. She has chosen a fertile field in the area of would be adulthood and seeming sophistication. Everybody over the age of twenty has been there. The sudden minefield of seeming maturity.
How to fit in? What to compromise? Where to go? What to drink? Who to hang with?
Relationships, a job, personal body issues and appearance, gaining self- confidence: all these need careful consideration if one is to embark into a life with other so called mature personnel.
The show purports to be a promotional package for the school that provides all the answers to all the above issues and more. It’s a cute premise and there are some excellent moments where the script absolutely nails the mine field of easing into conformity with the rest of the world.
Whichever world you’re in is the nub. Joske’s is definitely the educated Western world and she takes some sharply accurate jabs at its mores and pretentions. Keep low and try to blend in is the maxim. Her gushing saleswoman persona contrasted well with the flashbacks to her formerly gauche self.
There are witty observations like the job description of “junior sandwich artisan” at the extremely cool café. And as a student of worldliness you will be expected to alter your dislikes into uber hip likes e.g. “wine, asparagus, smooth jazz and salad.”
It is a solo show and as such demanding. Forty five minutes of non-stop monologue is a big ask and she carries it off well. It’s a densely worded piece and she could have slowed the pace a fraction to maximize the quips.
The use of the audience member “volunteer” went down extremely well. He was a great foil for Joske to bounce dating lines off and she handled him superbly. The audience was with Joske all the way singing background music enthusiastically as she shuffled her prompt cards for her “date”. A very cleverly managed piece of theatre.
The topic of maximizing female attractiveness by tailoring features to fit the image of a model had female audience members nodding sagely. It’s been said before but this was neatly packaged and the comparison of Joske au naturel with the video of the enhanced Joske was stunning.
Catherine Bonny directs and was responsible for the excellent voice over and audio visual component of the show.
As she retired behind a screen to strip down to underwear for her final test the examiner spouted “positive female affirmations.” Another pretention skewered hilariously. We look forward to seeing more of Sophie Joske.
The Blue Room Theatre Summer Nights & Dagaz Productions presents
Become a Functional Adult in 45 Minutes
Venue: The Blue Room Theatre Studio | Perth Cultural Centre, 53 James Street, Northbridge, WA
Dates: 3 – 7 February 2015