Main Image: Simon Hall
I first saw this show in its infancy, at the USQ Arts Theatre in Toowoomba. It was a one-man job (well, one man and one puppet) created by Steven Pirie who was a first year theatre student at the time. It was raw, fun and silly, but most importantly, it was the seed that grew into the marvellous Escape from the Breakup Forest that made its Brisbane debut in the Shopfront of the Judith Wright Centre on Saturday night.
The show is now a three-hander and comes to us from the Mixtape Theatre Collective. Hailing from Toowoomba, Mixtape is proudly regional and relatively new. Read more about them here.
Directed by Claire Christian and Ari Palani, Steven Pirie is joined onstage by Dan Stewart and Ell Sachs, who play a host of minor characters and manipulate Curly the puppet with obvious joy and skill. The plot is thus: Geeky teenage boy, Josh (Steven Pirie) meets quirky teenage girl, Emma (Ell Sachs). They fall in love and embark on a five-year relationship. Girl dumps boy for reasons unknown, boy collapses into an abyss of self-loathing and all-encompassing hatred for three years. One morning at the end of the third year he wakes up in a fantasy forest, ‘the breakup forest,’ and must embark on a quest to escape (whilst also overcoming his loss), with the assistance of a puppet spirit guide, Curly (Dan Stewart). Continue reading Review: Escape from the Breakup Forest – Mixtape Theatre Collective at Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts