Playwave Creative

REVIEW: Sorry to cut you off, Penny

 Sorry to cut you off, Penny

Sorry to cut you off, Penny
Reviewed by Lara Franzi

Someone once told me that there are a few conversation starter topics to avoid if you wanted to have a pleasant conversation with someone. These are; religion, finances, health, relationship issues and politics. Sorry to cut you off, Penny is all about politics.

Normally through theatre I find things out about myself that I didn’t previously realise. Yet, here, I found out something about its creators, Alana McGaughey, Meg O’Hara, Phoebe Turnbull, Daynah Simmons and their mentor David Williams, who has had over 20 years’ experience writing, devising and directing plays in Australia. Together they bring the perspective of young feminists to the stage, who all share a concern for our future under our current government. Discussing relevant topics today which they use to cut straight into the reality of what is happening in parliament, beyond the glamour that TV mainstream portrays

Sorry to cut you off, Penny comes from Newcastle. The girls share their passionate piece through the Tantrum’s trajectory ensemble, as they collaborate with David Williams to take this work from a page onto the stage, targeting young adults and motivating them to get involved in politics.

Phoebe invites her three friends over for a voting day dinner party, and for this short while we get to meet these politically charged characters. Together they take jabs at the Australian government; funding or Abbott’s speech fumbles, they bring a more comedic light into these politically dry events.

This piece interestingly gathers inspiration from more experimental theatre works, as the characters break out from the scene into a dance. This shakes up the heavy moments to bring attention to a more wholesome and encouraging idea, that when working together our voice is louder and can be heard.  

The set design draws in the audience to feel a part of their friendship, as we hear and smell the food cooking and it brings us even closer into the characters' experience. Alongside the cooking we get served delicious food puns such as Malcom Tabouli, which makes the play more engaging for younger audiences, and inspires us to get involved to take notice of who we are voting for.

Sorry to cut you off, Penny involves the audience in the reality of our politics. It brings attention to a topic that young people are not taught in depth. Tantrum bring awareness to how important it is to listen to what is being said, and to question it.

Being informed about the political parties one votes for is so crucial for everyone, especially nowadays as the planet requires our undivided attention. Every three years, we are crushed by a federal election. It’s a time to get passionate and try to make a change.

But then we move on silently, until the next election.

These voting day parties are a one-off wonder that really shape the people around you. You can either make or break a true friend through their aligned politics, or it can be isolating. Even though politics aren’t a good conversation starter, they are important to talk about and to challenge. We all need to get informed for the next election and to make the choice that best suits our beliefs, not what we are told on TV.

Tantrum Youth Arts at PACT
4-7 September 2019

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