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One and The Other - Review

Home > Melbourne > Circus | Comedy | Nightlife | Theatre | Theatre Reviews
by Fiona Anderson (subscribe)
A Melbourne based writer who is a travel junkie, dedicated foodie and emerging photographer.
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Laugh, cry and be thoroughly entertained

"F**king brilliant - put that in your review," whispers my partner Dave to me part way through this show. I don't usually include expletives in my reviews, but, funny enough, I'd been thinking something along the same lines just a short time earlier. This show is something extraordinary. It's not merely a 'show', it's an experience, a journey, an inspiration, and if you see it, you may not emerge the same person.

One and The Other at La Mama Courthouse - Review
Debra Batton (left) and Sue Broadway, stars of One and The Other


One and The Other features three amazing performers - Debra Batton and Sue Broadway on stage, and Teresa Blake in the mezzanine, as the 'orchestra' (she is also the musical director). Deb and Sue have been friends since working together with Circus Oz in the 1990's. The onset of middle age hasn't dampened their desire to be circus performers, in fact, as we later learned, it has lessened some inhibitions and delivered a sense of freedom in performance. And that provides the platform for a unique show, in which slapstick, physical acts and pathos unite.

Think pie throwing, tea slopping fun, combined with an animalistic representation of depression, and a personal revelation about an early sexual experience, and you have One and The Other. Batton and Broadway have reached a point in their lives where they present what they want to, without necessarily reaching for audience acclaim. The result is a powerful and memorable performance.

One and The Other at La Mama Courthouse - Review
A bit of pie-throwing, tea slopping good fun


Their act is drawn together with an outstanding soundscape provided by Teresa Blake, herself a former Circus Oz acrobat. Teresa is a one-woman band who somehow plays keyboard, cello, harp and even double recorder during the show. She gives the show rhythm, cohesion and mood, signalling a change of act or emotion in an almost intuitive way.

In a way, I'm lost for words in describing this show. Words are sometimes inadequate in capturing the magic of what you feel.

If you ever have used age as an excuse for not doing something, this show makes you think again. It's like, we 'succumb' to age, we let it 'seduce' us, but we shouldn't.

One and The Other at La Mama Courthouse - Review
The Batton and Broadway take on the 'me too' campaign


On the night we attended, there was a Q&A following the show, after a five minute break. Most of the audience stayed. "Your physicality is an inspiration," I said. "What do you do to maintain it?". "Just keep doing what you do," says Deb. Sue laughs when I direct the same question to her, indicating she is not the physical performer she once was. The extreme physicality in earlier years has taken its toll on her body, but it certainly hasn't dampened her will or capability to perform and entertain.

I can't speak highly enough of this show. Just go and see it!

One and The Other plays at La Mama Theatre (in temporary premises at La Mama Courthouse), 349 Drummond Street, Carlton, until Sunday 28th October.

Tickets are full - $30, concession - $20. Click here to buy tickets online, or call La Mama on (03) 9347 6142.

Running time for One and the Other is approximately 60 minutes.

The show contains adult themes including coarse language, nudity, and themes of abuse and mental illness.

Image Credit

The images in this article were supplied by the publicist. The photographer is Ponch Hawkes.
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*Fiona Anderson was invited as a guest
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Why? A gem of a show that proves that age is no barrier to.... anything
When: Performances every day until 28th October except Monday 22nd and Tuesday 23rd. Check website for performance times as they vary.
Phone: (03) 9347 6948
Where: La Mama Courthouse, 349 Drummond Street, Carlton
Cost: Full - $30, concession - $20
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