If you enter FACEBOOT online via the Sydney Fringe Festival website for bookings after 2pm today, or say FACEBOOT at the box office, and you may purchase half price tickets.
The Weaning of Life, a White Sardine production presented as part of the Sydney Fringe Festival, is entertaining and at times entrancing; it creates that "all funny inside feeling" as described in the pre show propoganda material.
This light physical comedy with some moments that surprise and delight and at times behaviour that questions your or Luke's sanity is enthralling. There were one or two moments that remind you of Oscar Pistorius on a difficult day, but Luke Nowells' "dysfunctional protagonist" is extremely easy to watch. You find yourself enraptured by his characterisations. The whole audience is intrinsically interwoven with the performance experience of this comedy.
Incorporating "physical comedy, mime, clowning, improvisation, theatre and music", the performer/director Luke Nowell, takes you "into the world of his dreams." A notation here, I'm unsure if his dreams are all that we wish at times to be part of. There is a simplicity in the complexity of the dysfunction, yet be fully aware in the moment. The Weaning of Life takes us through all those awkward moments in life, from conception, childhood, puberty, dating through to old age. There's a simple beauty in the progessive stages of life and the natural flow of what at times are moments not as you would expect. Which, I suppose is what life really is.
Made up of a blend of childlike awe and a touch of dark humor the Weaning of Life is fun and silly. I think I could write a thesis on the red Onesie alone. The theme of play and playfulness with a red onesie, some simple yet very effective props and antics involved in childlike play testing social boundaries of functional behaviour were great fun in the context of the evening. Don't let your guard down fully is my message. That is the moment a dysfunctional protagonist will take advantage. But do enjoy, participate and listen.
The music composed by Dan Shepard is brilliantly blended with each life moment. Dan's music is a dominant feature in The Weaning of Life, interweaving with the characters' stories superbly. So well blended that you hear and experience the music and the acting almost as one.
Not being an expert on physical comedy methods, the mime like quality of Luke's performance is beautiful. This is where music and comedy get lost in each other. All the time you are watching the childishly funny, yet physically polished moves that kept all entertained and delight filled eyes glued to Luke throughout his world of dreams the music is at one with his performance.
There was not one moment of boredom, one moment when a joke did not hit its mark or any disconnection through the entire show.
Audience interaction and participation is the whole show in a way that I have not seen since sitting on a pre school mat being told an amazing story. The childlike quality of the entranced audience, who, if you took a moment to observe shared the show with Luke and with each other a range of positive emotions, even when presented with some quite unexpected and challenging events. The girl who laughed through out one scene was one of the best parts of the show. She bought the whole audience along with her in her delight.
This light fun look at life with a small amount of thought is a performance that you will sit happily in your seat for and watch to see what will happen next. I valued the experience of the evening.
It is not your average comedy. There is no deep or complex political social comment through wry jokes to intellectually inspire a socio-political response. There are no dead moments. Although, there may be, but not quite in the way of a dead moment in comedy on stage is usually presented. Just as there was no disconnection. (If you see The Weaning of Life you may understand this better.)
Tickets are still available for Saturday nights show. After 2pm, you may purchase half price tickets online with the code FACEBOOT, or say FACEBOOT at the Box Office window. So, if you have nothing planned, it could be a fun light evening. Ideal to take friends or family to. Totally refreshing comedy.
The Weaning of Life was created by a team of extremely talented people. The funding for the comedy show was actually supported through the self funding site Pozible. Along with Luke Nowell, Rebecca Wright(Producer) and Dan Shepard are Rohan Nowell- Graphic Designer, Jo Li- Graphic Designer, Heidi Wright- Photographer, Elyse Dickson- Media Consultant whom were sincerely thanked at the end of the performance along with the audience. It was fun, witty and a little dangerous, but not totally so. Totally refreshing comedy.