The turn on of reality TV
By Myron My
Media Release for this year’s Fringe Festival is a cautionary tale about the follies of fame, the foibles of being popular and the extent people to which seek such fantasies. The story revolves around a young woman April (Isabella Valette) who is at a audition and is asked to deliver her lines like specific Hollywood celebrities, such as Britney Spears, Emma Watson, and Mischa Barton – and to be sexier. From there, we witness her demise – in a lighthearted way – as she betrays family members, friends and herself in succumbing to the lure of being a reality star.
Spanning a two-year narrative time period, a lot is covered in this 55-minute show – so much in fact, that I feel there was too much going on to let the story feel fully organic and believable. It would have been nice to see the story driven by the actions of the characters, rather than the characters going through the motions to tell the story.
Apart from Valette, the rest of the cast (Oliver Waters, Maddie Chaplain and Luke Chaplain) perform a variety of characters, some of which are brought to life convincingly and others that don’t seem as realistic. Surprisingly, the latter appear more often to be the “straight” roles, rather than the over-the-top but more plausibly portrayed characters of producers, narcissistic “actors” and talent agents.
However, Valette brings April’s innocence and naivety to the surface with conviction and believability, as well as exploring her desire to achieve her dreams. The well-paced and cleverly re-written musical numbers performed by Valette showcase her voice and are definitely a highlight of Media Release.
Media Release is an entertaining hour of song and laughs for audiences that have been surrounded by and obsessed with reality TV “stars” for almost two decades, and there is definitely potential for this to develop into something bigger and generate an even more dynamic response .
Venue: Court House Hotel, Cnr. Errol & Queensberry St, North Melbourne
Season: Until 26 September | Tue–Sat 6:00pm, Sun 5:00pm
Tickets: $21 Full | $16 Conc