Cindy looks after her widower Dad in a small town. Dad’s started to worry about Cindy’s disinterest in men, and gives some young tradies at work the OK to pursue his “Princess”. A sheltered flower now needing to navigate attentions of randy suitors, Cindy finds herself A Rose among Horns.
In this one-woman show, Genevieve Butler performs a variety of characters. The two main potential love/lust interests, Punch and Bricko, are played with different slants on a sort of country bogan manhood intending to make them figures of fun.
The one-person show is a demanding vehicle. A highly skilled performer with a good script, someone like Rama Nicholas, can make it look effortless whilst it entertains and surprises. But, there needs to be some internal logic that holds the piece together.
As things stand, the script needs some tough love. At times Cindy over-explains a metaphor, or we are distracted by why she made certain choices, especially when these seemed against her own interests. It also didn’t make much sense for Cindy have regrets about incompatible men when this was clearly the case very early in her brief courtships.
Script glitches wouldn’t matter so much if other parts of the show fitted together well. Yet, the odd flourish, especially a lengthy and awkward dance sequence with an audience member that was irrelevant to the story, seemed more about showing off a talent than illuminating the characters.
The show is unlikely to satisfy a well-travelled fringe goer. However, Butler is an energetic performer, and has some inventive approaches to quickly managing the various transitions between characters. This, as well as her talent for character voices, suggests we can expect more from her in the future.
A Rose among Horns
The Butterfly Club (Downstairs), 5 Carson Place, Melbourne
Performance: Wednesday 26 September 2018 – 7.00pm
Season continues to 30 September 2018
Information and Bookings: www.melbournefringe.com.au
Image: Genevieve Butler features in A Rose among Horns (supplied)
Review: Jason Whyte