Melbourne Fringe 2015

People Piss in Here, Melbourne Fringe Festival 2015

0 Comments 02 October 2015

From the production company, Crowtown, and directed by Stephen Jones, People Piss in Here is a surreal comedy that both enlightens and amuses as it explores the struggles of those suffering from mental illnesses . When Jo suffers from a panic attack, she locks herself in an isolated bathroom, only to find that there is no toilet paper. When her schizophrenic friend, Sam, arrives to help calm her down, and give her the toilet paper she desperately needs, the two women find comfort in telling each other stories of their experiences of mental illness, confessing their fears and figuring out a way to make Jo feel comfortable leaving the bathroom.

The dynamic between the two women is what really brings the play to life. Jessica McKerlie’s performance of Jo is not only humorous, but also extremely raw. Her ability to flow through different states of minds, from calm to utter panic, gives truth to the play that is bold and daring. Petra Elliott’s performance is diversely entertaining as she plays out two characters; Sam and seventh century who has the mind of a teenage girl and loves teen comedies such as The Princess Diaries and Mean Girls. Her outspoken and confident performance works well, playing off McKerlie’s character to create a comedy that covers a very serious issue with sensitivity.

The debut play written by Isobel Marmion, People Piss in Here is compelling and eccentric, engaging the audience through its well thought out characters and meaningful subtext. There is one point where the saint, through Sam, informs Jo of the upcoming judgement day, which that sends Jo into a frenzy as she worries about going to hell. This reflects upon how anxiety can be so extreme as to make the sufferer think that the world is ending, but is subtle enough to ensure the play moves forward.

The set contains only three chairs with toilet seats on it, but the actors use the space cleverly, using their bodies and their restricted movement to suggest stalls and sinks, and also that they are trapped in the bathroom and unable to get out.

Ultimately, People Piss in Here is about the many misconceptions that people have about mental illness; Marmion’s use of poetic dialogue reflects upon this issue, and helps the audience gain a better understanding of the suffering that Jo, Sam and all those who struggle with mental illness, endure.

Candid and sincere, People Piss in Here is a surprising, yet gratifying production that is both informative and compassionate in its depiction of mental illness.

People Piss in Here runs from the 30th of September to the 4th of October at The Butterfly Club, 5 Carson Pl, Melbourne. Book tickets at or call (03) 9660 9666.

Share your view

Post a comment

Author Info

This post was written by who has written 12 posts on Buzzcuts.

Blog Authors

© 2024 Buzzcuts.

Website by A New Leaf Media