I left Thre3e with a huge smile on my face… because it was finally over. It is rare to find theatre this bad in Wellington, but Mirrored Faces Productions made many key mistakes, creating an experience which has left me with PTTD (Post-Traumatic Theatre Disorder).
Though the problems of this show were many, the main perpetrator has to be the script, written by director and co-star Jett Ranchhod. The story reads like a teenage boy’s masturbatory fantasy, following a bunch of flatmates as they compete in a video game tournament for a $10,000 prize. There were really no redeeming qualities in the narrative. The dialogue was stilted and nonsensical, the characters’ motivations were absent or completely irrational and the relationships were either completely unbelievable or again made absolutely no sense. Worst of all, the script was abysmally misogynistic, treating the one female character like a sexual object that could be passed around the flat to anyone’s liking.
These problems were exacerbated by the performances in the piece. The two male leads, Jett Ranchhod and Keeghan McGarry, gave performances that would have looked bad in a high school production, let alone at Bats. Of course they had very little to work with, but there deliveries were still often cringeworthy. The female lead, Lindsay Astarita, did a slightly better job at bringing the “script” to life, but even she seemed like she didn’t want to be there, and I couldn’t help but empathise with that.
The show’s one redeeming quality was the fight sequences, which were well choreographed and had clearly been keenly rehearsed. But unfortunately even this one sliver of light in the darkness was ruined by the inept design and execution of the show’s technical elements. Every fight scene was crippled by poorly timed lighting cues, and a baffling absence of non-diegetic sound to bulk out the energy of the fighting.
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