Sweet meandering romance

By Myron My

The opening moments of You Took The Stars succeed in setting a romantic and whimsical environment as we are led from the front of the North Melbourne Town to the neighboring alley. Taking a seat at one of the four candlelit tables, we are serenaded by musician Matt Furlani singing Sarah McLachlan’s “Ice Cream”, and then witness the first encounter of Maisie and Paul, and their ensuing relationship.

You Took The Stars

But this is not a traditional love story, or even much of a story for that matter. Writer Cat Commander has chosen to tell this story through the characters rather than through narrative. This sounds very interesting in theory, but in this instance, it was difficult for me to feel an emotional connection to Maisie and Paul, as they perform the various scenes their imaginations create and found myself unable to maintain the level of interest I initially had.

This is through no fault of the acting by Kasia Kaczmarek and John Shearman who do an exceptional job as the two lovers and their performances are what had me most engaged with this show. Alice Darling’s direction further strengthens the chemistry between the two and ensures that issues from performing in such a long, narrow outdoor venue are minimized. It is encouraged, and at times, necessary, as an audience member to move around to get a better view of what is happening as well as hearing the dialogue that is drowned out due to outside noises.

Despite its shortcomings, You Took The Stars is a nice enough show that (literally as well as metaphorically) takes you outside of all the craziness that happens at Fringe and gives you a moment to reflect. And make sure to rug up: this is an outdoor performance.

Venue: Meet on the steps of North Melbourne Town Hall, 521 Queensberry St, North Melbourne

Season: Until 26 September | Tues-Fri 7:00pm

Tickets: $18 Full | $15 Conc