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Review: HeySorryGottaGoBye

Adelaide Fringe

We've all been there. Everyone at the party is having a great time and you would be too if only your vicious inner critic would shut the diggity up for five minutes. ★★★½

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HeySorryGottaGoBye is an angst-fuelled multi-media examination of the crazy head spaces our social anxieties draw us into.

Using animation by Daniel Harris and soundscapes by Angus Mills, director Claudia Osborne and co-writer Thomas De Angelis take the audience on a whirlwind tour of Wally’s mind as he navigates the choppy waters of a party he’d rather not be at.

Arriving on his own, Wally’s anxiety begins to mount when his friends tell him to meet them “out the back” and he’s forced to run the gauntlet of Cool Party Dudes on his way through the seemingly endless corridors of the house.

After a confrontation with a pair of giant insect puppets (think 1970s’ Dr Who) and a conversation with some disturbingly spaced-out wallflowers, he makes the ultimate faux pas with a politically incorrect joke and brings it all crashing down around himself.

The show is short – barely 30 minutes – but Sam Brewer’s excellent portrayal of Wally has the audience so deeply immersed in his angst that you can’t help feeling relief when it’s all over.

The animation is simple but often smart (the ladder Wally climbs and the small-talking mouths are particularly effective). Sound design also works well to create tension while simultaneously delivering a party vibe. A highlight is the very funny dance scene, with Brewer owning the floor in a manner reminiscent of Bez from Happy Mondays.

Written using material Osborne collected by interviewing family and friends, the play is a little light on plot and character development: it’s more a series of anecdotes than a serious analysis of the socio-psychological factors that affect us all.

However, what HeySorryGottaGoBye does brilliantly is open up conversation around the social anxiety that we all feel but rarely communicate. A great show for teens, or anyone who mistakenly thinks that everyone else is way cooler than themselves.

Three-and-a-half stars

HeySorryGottaGoBye is showing at The Arch, Holden Street Theatres, until March 11.

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