Melbourne Fringe 2015

Love, Loss and Lattes, Melbourne Fringe Festival 2015

0 Comments 01 October 2015

Coffee is a pervasive element of modern Melbourne culture and has the potential to be an interesting theme for a circus show. Love, Loss and Lattes is a respectable debut solo performance by pole dancer and aerialist ‘Missy’, but it lacks characterisation and vitality.

Missy opens the show sitting at a desk with a mug and a stack of printed out reading material, a reference to her introduction to coffee as a study aid. The show then goes on to explore aspects of Missy’s relationship with coffee through aerial acts, pole dance, dance and monologue.

A routine on silks is the backbone of the show, being well choreographed and featuring Missy’s most impressive tricks. It is strong, elegant and seductive, allowing Missy’s burlesque background to shine through. Acts on aerial hoop and pole have a similar tone and are performed

While Missy’s performance as a circus artist is engaging, her performance as a character is not strong enough to draw the audience in. The show feels in need of more charisma, energy and emotional honesty. There are a couple of short skits that attempt to provide this, but don’t quite hit the mark. At one point Missy performs a short monologue about her coffee preferences, but this doesn’t include any interesting observations and her delivery is dominated by nerves as she shifts awkwardly from foot to foot. The show would perhaps benefit from more floor-based circus skills, such as hula hoops and manipulation. These allow for personal expression and would enable a stronger connection with the audience.

The coffee theme is not as well executed as it could be. Incorporating a mug into some of the acts is slightly interesting, but loses its impact very quickly. Ideas of love, emotional loss, routine and reliance on caffeine are only considered at a very basic level and conveyed using literal movement, such as a repetitive dance sequence illustrating the daily coffee purchase. Some social commentary about coffee culture would add more interest to the show.

Aside from all these issues, this is a cohesive, well-paced performance with some beautiful moments. It features enjoyable music choices including jazz and classical.

As her first solo performance, Love Loss and Lattes is a commendable effort by Missy. But although her aerial acts are solid they are not able to drive the entire show in the absence of strong characterisation.

Love, Loss and Lattes is on at Gasworks, 21 Graham St, Albert Park from 29 September – 3 October at 9:45pm, with a matinee on 3 October at 4pm. For more information or to book tickets, please visit https://www.melbournefringe.com.au or call the ticketing team on 9660 9666.

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