Melbourne Fringe 2016

Awesome Ocean Party, Melbourne Fringe 2016

0 Comments 23 September 2016

Words by Eleanor Boydell

When you meet someone for the first time, you should tell them interesting facts about yourself. You speak a little Japanese. You’re an excellent problem solver. You taught yourself to play recorder. You have three hearts and your blood is purple. Wait, what?

Downstairs at the Butterfly Club, I’m at the birthday party of a lovely, lonely, socially awkward woman I’ve never met. Complete with presents, cake and balloons, this is Awesome Ocean Party, Giema Contini’s one-woman show. I’d interviewed Contini earlier in the year, and it’s great to see the piece come to life in all its imaginative and silly glory. Contini uses song, storytelling and physical theatre to tell us a very accessible tale about overcoming grief and loneliness.

The love child of a beautiful woman and an ancient octopus (don’t think too hard about it), the girl is abandoned before birth by her father and orphaned when her mother dies of a broken heart. Washed up on an island, she grows into a woman with only the moon as friend and teacher. She was never given a name, which made it difficult when she met new people. She asks us to name her and I suggest Persephone – strange and sweet, like her. She introduces us to her favourite things, tells us the fairy-tale of her life, and takes us along on her rollercoaster of emotions. Have you ever heard a mournful rendition of her favourite song, Under the Sea? It’s quite moving.

There’s no suggestion of a fourth wall. Contini’s engagement with the audience is immediate and relaxing. On the evening I attend we’re an intimate group of just five, and she locks eyes with each of us, asking our names, offering compliments (that’s what you should do when you meet new people), lightly splashing us with water so we too can have a swim.

Another interesting fact – did you know she can taste everything she touches? She tastes me with her hand and finds me to be delicious. I’m quite flattered. Contini is a talented performer creating within a unique artistic style.

It’s a sweet show. Heart-warming, humorous and light, it meets its promise, and for someone who’s been to six fairly intense performances in as many nights it’s nice to sink into the depths with something comfortable and take a break from reality. It’s like enjoying a Disney movie, and feels a little misdirected at an audience of adults. We’re told at the end of the performance that there’s more birthday parties happening in coming nights…and I’m not sure whether it’s Persephone or Contini uttering the line, “I need more friends.”

Share your view

Post a comment

Author Info

This post was written by who has written 14 posts on Buzzcuts.

Blog Authors

© 2024 Buzzcuts.

Website by A New Leaf Media