Kim Kirkman praises the well-drawn characters and the clever and evocative writing in What of It.
What of It, Rebecca Fingher with Lazy Yarns ·
State Theatre Centre, 27 January, 2021 ·
Adidas-clad, foul-mouthed and working class, Dax, Luck, and Corey brawl, shag and never cry. They’re anger addled, drug fuelled and adolescent. They’ll sexually harass you from across the street, and kick your head in to steal your shoes.
They’re also women, and the performance centres on this delicious subversion of gender stereotypes.
Funny, crude, and sometimes unsettling, What of It tackles rivalry, rage and violence in a story of three young women hell-bent having one last big blowout before the end of the world. Multiple facets of a roiling conflict between new-kid Lucky, alpha-dog Corey and ambivalent Dax give depth to characters that might otherwise come off as one-dimensional translations of well-known masculine tropes.
The performance fills the stage with a freewheeling energy charged by the characters’ frequent loose-limbed gyrations to brash British hip hop, comic stretches of dialogue, and deftly choreographed sequences moving actors’ interactions in a dance-like harmony.
Actors Anna Lindstedt (Dax), Courts Cava (Luck) and Rebecca Fingher (Cory) channel an edgy, wolf pack dynamism, lobbing dialogue and hostility back and forth with an unpolished synchrony. Their fast-paced enactment travels from salons and nightclubs to street corners and basements in a vivid rendering of addiction, bullying, neglect and disadvantage that is at once darkly humorous and sharply sad.
But the beauty of What of It is less what the performance is saying than how it is said. Fingher’s writing is evocative, clever and unpredictable, lending itself to dialogue that collides and ricochets among the characters, slipping fluidly between caustic, rapid-fire interchanges, lyric narration and rap.
Freezing at 5am under a flickering streetlight, as the sun rises over “blistered buildings” Corey dreams of “waking up in warm love”. And in the punches not thrown and the invisible lines crossed, What of It threads a nuanced reflection on the messiness of being human through its hot-headed amalgam of profanity and poetry.
Pictured top: Anna Lindstedt, Rebecca Fingher and Courts Cava in ‘What of It’. Photo: Samuel Gordon-Beuce
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