In one of the Twenty-First Century's cruellest paradoxes, Millennials have both the advantage and the disadvantage of the internet. They can access anything or anyone, anywhere, anytime, and suffer for it. With well-drilled, energetic dance moves and admirable comic timing, Boys Taste Better with Nutella explores relationships and self-worth and the two performers are not afraid to get down and sticky in doing so.
The fifty-minute show features Aggy (Caitlin Hill), a girl who compensates for her needy, lovelorn insecurity hilariously with a form of Nutella self-immolation, and Frederick (Peter Wood), who buries his emergent gay persona in a rain of fries. The best friends are self-loathing as only Millennials can be, given that they have everyone from the Kardashian family down against whom to judge themselves and be found wanting.
Hill in particular plays out an all-too-familiar angst as the young woman desperate for love who clings to any tiny interaction as The One, only to suffer rejection and live out failure as a constant in a world where the impossible ideal is the basic minimum to which one must aspire. Her performance is nuanced and shows an impressive acting range from pathos to broad comedy. Wood provides a solid foil as the young man wrestling with his sexuality and eating to compensate.
There is a kind of light at the end of the tunnel, though. While each character is riddled with insecurities and play them out entertainingly amid a shower of French fries and an orgy of Nutella – clearly a big ticket item in the show's otherwise shoestring budget – they arrive simultaneously at an understanding that they are each other's best friend.
Amid the chaos and hopelessness of their characters' real life and online dating ineptitude, this is both a comfort and an uplifting message that humanity will prevail, despite the digitally enhanced horrors of Twenty-First Century interaction. Like any tale worth telling, the journey is at least as important as the arrival.
Produced by Kristen Maloney, performed by Caitlin Hill and Peter Wood and co-directed by Ms Maloney, Ms Hill and Mr Wood, Boys Taste Better With Nutella runs until February 23 at The Mill, 154 Angas St, Adelaide.