A comedic space adventure
By Caitlin McGrane
Claire Sullivan’s madcap space adventure started well; her voice appeared from behind the audience over a $2 megaphone to hurry people in from the bar at Hugs & Kisses. The show began with an unusual level of audience participation – Sullivan invited everyone in the intimate theatre-cum-dance floor onto the stage where we were told we were going into space and had to participate in the take-off. This level of participation was about all I was ready to handle, and am very glad I was not called upon when Sullivan instructed the audience to ask questions about space. I enjoyed this mini Q & A but couldn’t help feeling like this was stalling for time.
The performance was often enjoyably frenetic, disjointed and ludicrous – the moments where Sullivan shone were where she was ad-libbing and interacting with the audience (which appeared to be mostly made up of her friends and former singing teachers). The weakest parts for me were when the seemingly vague script forced Sullivan to flail on stage and reach for props from plastic bags; it didn’t seem so much hilariously zany as it appeared disorganised.
Sullivan is certainly talented and I enjoyed her raw comedic energy, but I found myself distracted by her attempts to wrestle with technology and direct the show towards a coherent conclusion. It was the first night of the show, and these things often take time to fine tune, but I am aware that this show has been performed in Perth so I was surprised by how scattered it seemed. I look forward to seeing what Sullivan does next, and I hope her next show is tighter and sharper because I do thoroughly believe she has it in her to produce something brilliantly bonkers that tells a great story.
Venue: Hugs and Kisses, 22 Sutherland Street, Melbourne
Season: Until 18th April, 8pm (no show Sundays)
Tickets: Full $17 | Conc $12