Mudfest: Relationsh*t

Relationsh*t is a show that you’ve definitely seen before. Two characters trapped in a space overnight, while being forced to confront each other on something that neither of them wants to talk about, is not by any measure a new concept, although it is a reliable one. This iteration of such a universal model however, is done in Melbourne University’s underground car park, and thus the audience is not drastically removed from the reality of being stuck there themselves. It is an imposing space after all.

What also sets Relationsh*t apart are its contemporary themes and its nuanced understanding of the audience and the context of the piece. Seeing such relatable characters and such relatable emotions performed in front of me was disarming, and it did away with the clichéd notion that young people in Melbourne can be easily categorised and their struggles so lethargically dismissed. Both performances were strong, but Ben Symon was exceptional.

While the plot and a few narrative structures could have benefited from further development on the drawing table and few more edits, the original script was very impressive, and showed the potential and dexterity of writer Phoebe Witts.

For a thirty minute performance, Relationsh*t adeptly captured and manipulated a raft of contemporary sentiments surrounding youth, sex, and partnership, and it did this with very admirable subtlety and an appreciation for the stories less told. Relationsh*t is a brave and commendable effort from such a young and emerging company and group of artists.

Clancy Moore

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