Review: Gobby – Jenni Snell

Show: Gobby
Venue: Big Belly @ Underbelly
Stars: ****
Reviewer: Jenni Snell

Life of the party? Then this show is for you. Gobby takes you on the wild and enlightening journey of Bri, through five different parties and five different stages of self-discovery. This show provides the audience an exclusive insight into the loudest voice at the party and the underlying complexities that we as humans tend to brush over.

The structure of the play is unconventional; the use of the five parties as chapters was an excellent choice in rooting a complex narrative and allows storylines to develop at a fast yet understandable pace. I mean, who doesn’t love a good party popper – or five – as an introduction to the next scene?

Speaking of party poppers, I really enjoyed the use of the props throughout the play. The stage was set up beautifully becoming less and less controlled as the plot unravelled. Unravelling the party banners with it! It provided a truly capturing imagery of the emotions, experiences and reflections Bri was undergoing in each stage. The music choices were fitting and combined with excellent lighting depicted well the different party atmospheres and emotions. Shout out for the all-female production company!

Jodie Irvine’s solo-woman performance is witty and meaningful. Her ability to manage group conversations through accents, positioning and props impressive. Her strong performance really conveyed the transformative self-appreciation and ownership of the loudness that Bri found through friendship and personal strength.

The show touched on some dark comedy at points which was delivered well and uncovered deep issues that I personally feel could have been explored more. Although self-awareness and understanding the causes of our actions is an important message for us all, the murkier themes of domestic abuse and gaslighting were secondary to Bri’s loud personality. I feel that there is too much responsibility put on the female victim and I’d have liked to have seen these issues more deeply explored.

That being said the show successfully broke down the stigma of women being too “gobby” and provided an alternative definition to the often negatively loaded word. The world needs more shows that shout about the powerful loud voices of women!

Gobby: tickets available here
Underbelly
2-10 August
6.25pm (1 hour)

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