Melbourne Fringe Review: “Make Your Move”

Returning to the lovely Gasworks theatre for another serving of fringe festival entertainment, I was excited to attend the show called “Make Your Move”. I had read a little about the show, however much of the details are left to be deliberately mysterious. I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect, but throughout the course of the evening I was pleasantly surprised. With many shows becoming overly descriptive in titles and marketing blurbs, it was a little liberating to attend feeling like a ‘clean slate’ – having no preconceived expectations about the show. “Make Your Move” is a well organised show and the intimate but keen audience on opening night were warmly welcomed by the cast.

“Make Your Move” is directed by Gemma Flannery (13Theatre founder) and features a core team of 4 engaging performers – Luke Livermore, Hayley Marlow, Robyn Mclachlan and Tara Kennedy. Throughout the show, the audience is slowly given access to and perspectives of each character’s personality and world. It seems, at times, as if the audience members have visited a small town inhabited solely by these characters.  Dispersed between vignettes of each character, there is also a broader storyline featuring two lovers – a story which progresses, evolves and twists through the course of the show (and via the reactions / opinions of audience members).

The 4 performers within “Make Your Move” each did a fantastic job of bringing their characters to life – there were amusing conversations for the audience to witness, giggles and wry smiles and some impressive monologues. There were a couple of cliche lines, however there were also modern references which I enjoyed so a sense of balance was towed. Most importantly, the characters were highly relatable – I could see elements of myself in some of the characters or even elements of their backgrounds and could think of other people in my life who could relate to the characters as well. Collectively, I believe at least one of the characters would be relatable to most audience members (in one way or another). This also helps draw the audience into the stories within the show – as the show progresses, I get a sense that the audience ‘cares’ about the welfare of each character a little more. Overall, I found the characters’ perspectives to be like a foggy bathroom mirror – at the start of the show, the audience isn’t given much detail and then progressively through the show we learn more about the characters until a clear image of  each appears.

A regular segment of the show that I enjoyed was the “Game Show” segment, which to me was a commentary on how life throws us all into uncertain and stressful situations sometimes. I enjoyed the metaphors that the game show references brought, as well as some bonus laughs. I also enjoyed the ‘prop heavy’ nature of the show, and indeed how each performer / character regarded the props in the space after they had been used. It felt like every aspect of this show had been carefully selected and regarded. There were some storyline aspects that were serious and could be taken to darker places, however a balance remained (in content and jokes / light hearted moments).

The title “Make your Move” was regularly referenced throughout the show, which I liked as it constantly brought the audience back to the concept of “what’s next?” or “what do you want to do next?” or “where are you headed?” Life often throws each of us into the paths of crossroads – just like in this show, where characters approach their own crossroads with different perspectives.

Verdict: it’s time for YOU to take that next step and “Make Your Move” to the Gasworks to see this enjoyable, clever and thought provoking show. Take a chance, roll the dice of fate and see a show worthy of your time, attention and thought.

Tickets: http://www.gasworks.org.au/event/make-your-move/

*Disclaimer: I attended this show as a guest of the Director.

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