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September 15, 2008 | by  | in Theatre |
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Some Girl(s)

I laughed, I cringed, I cried (a little), but most important of all, I totally related. Neil LaBute’s Some Girl(s) is a ‘how-not-to’ guide, outlining exactly how not to deal with past relationships. Don’t call them if you don’t love them any more, don’t call them if your affair is over, and don’t call them if you don’t care. Man, I kinda wish someone had told me that before now. Some Girl(s) is a show which illuminates some of the most selfish aspects of human nature, and there is little doubt that this is a show worth seeing.

The show is presented as a series of dialogues which involve a guy traveling across America. The unnamed man, played by Toby Leach, is getting hitched, and he has decided to pay each of his ex-girlfriends a visit before he finally ties the knot. Exactly what he hopes to gain from these visits is vague at first, which tends to make it a little tricky to contextualise the opening scenes, although trying to work out what exactly is going on is part of the challenge of the play. However once his ulterior motive is revealed it becomes apparent that LaBute is up to his typical mind games, and the show takes on a much nastier guise.

There are some great character roles in this show, especially for the women. The first to appear is Jacqueline Nairn, who plays the man’s teenage heartthrob who was heartbroken after he left her with little explanation. Rachel Forman plays Tyler, the randy one, who tries to rekindle the strong sexual connection between the two. Shortland Street’s Jacque Drew plays Lindsay, a university professor who our man had an affair with several years previously. Rounding them off is Danielle Mason, who uncovers the sinister plot.

All actors perform finely, each taking the role and truly making it their own. It is obvious that all of the actors are practiced at their craft and can command the stage with skill, managing to hit the comic notes with precision and still maintaining the humanity of the characters. Toby Leach as the Man also does a great job, carrying the show with momentum and giving a fine example of the contemporary leading man.

While the script and performances are strong, the lighting and set do little to help explore the depth of the themes. The show’s aesthetic is very warm and inviting. Perhaps something seedier, a slimy motel room rather than an expensive hotel, would have been a more appropriate setting Likewise, the lighting could have taken on a more transformative role, rather than maintaining the status-quo.

Still, I felt that Some Girl(s) was a show worth seeing. It taught me without preaching, and it forced me to look at those parts of myself which I might otherwise like to keep buried. A great choice of play from Circa Theatre.

Some Girl(s)
Written by Neil LaBute
Directed by Ross Jolly
At Circa
Sept 6 – Oct 4

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