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March 28, 2012 | by  | in Arts Theatre |
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Review – Loser

  • By Thomas Sainsbury
  • Directed by Richard Finn
  • Performed by Whitireia Stage and Screen Arts third year students
  • BATS Theatre, 21 March

It is rather tragic when comedy fails. Thomas Sainsbury’s award-winning black comedy, Loser, was turned into a spectacularly bad scream-fest when performed by Whitireia’s third year Stage and Screen Arts students at BATS last week.

The blurb promised a hilarious portrayal of the “ruthless cruelties and absurdities of school life” as six ex-classmates turn up for their ten year reunion. It dwelled all too long on drawn-out flashbacks (encouraged suicide attempts, unrequited crushes, and endless taunting) of the characters’ unhappy school days and after an hour it still hadn’t got to the reunion.

The ensemble cluttered the stage. The frequent screaming and melodramatic acting really hindered the success of the show. Furthermore, the constant use of the word ‘fuck’ made it lose all impact and just became cringe-worthy.

The tech was somewhat awry with characters trying to speak over the top of music and several times they were in the dark while delivering their lines.

The ending showed promise as the ever anxious ex-Head Girl read her therapist a poem she wrote about the reunion. If only that sense of unconscious foolishness had been achieved by the other actors all throughout the show.

The intentionally pitiable set, with its streamers, balloons and awkward high school dance feel to it, aligned all too well with the sorry performances of the evening.

Loser runs from 20 to 24 March.


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