Posted by Melanie Dimmitt
14. Aug, 2014
The chilling, yet somehow charming journey of a gravely ill teen.
An actress walks on stage and tells us she’s fat. Or rather, embarks on a vicious, body-shaming rant, attacking every inch of her decidedly svelte frame while flailing her “chiko roll” arms in disgust. It’s disturbing, and it should be.
Our protagonist for the night is Sancia Robinson, the high school-aged lass phenomenally embodied by Gabrielle Savrone. She achieves an eerie duality, acting out the demons in her head as her better senses succumb to anorexia and bulimia nervosa. With a goodie-laden pantry to her left and a bathroom toilet to her right the grisly inevitable plays out, all in front of a host of mirrors, facing squarely at the audience.
While Australian author Wendy Harmer penned this play 20 years ago (making for the odd, but forgivable well-worn cliché), eating disorders hold strong in our culture, and this play hits one heck of a nerve. Although there’s nothing funny about the subject, it’s delivered in palatable bites (sorry) through daydream scenarios, cunning use of metaphor and Savrone’s unfaltering, attention-grabbing energy.
This entertaining and important performance is directed by Sancia Robinson herself, making for a brutally honest, highly compelling show.
What is the Matter with Mary Jane?
Owl and The Pussycat, 34 Swan Street, Richmond
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