Just as many steps have to be successfully negotiated to arrive at good cup, so it is with a fringe show. The unevenness of this one makes it a strange experience on the palate. Many will wish that all of the elements could be brewed to be as satisfying as the circus ones.
There’s very little speech in the piece, and so we often depend on the physical theatre components to tell the story. Unfortunately, some of these are lukewarm. Sequences such as where Missy picks up papers from the ground with a coffee cup balanced on her head are repetitive and go on far too long.
A flash of a man’s image, possibly, on one of these sheets won’t be seen by everyone, and was that the loss component? This, and other acts spent largely on the floor, will also be hard to see from seats that aren’t in the first row or two.
The strong stuff arrives through skilful tricks that are much better able to get the heart pumping. Missy showed good skills in a suspended hoop routine where the rapture on her face communicated the joy of java. A sequence on aerial ribbons was similarly impressive.
The accompanying coffee-themed musical selections, such as the jazz standard Black Coffee, were thoroughly appropriate in mood and sentiment. I also liked the costuming choice of the brown leotard with latte-coloured trim. Another shot of explanation of Missy’s relationship to coffee might help us better interpret the physical aspects, and remove distractions from the crème of her circus skills.
Melbourne Fringe: Love, Loss and Lattes
The Clover Club – Gasworks Arts Park, 21 Graham Street, Albert Park
Performance: Saturday 3 October 2015 – 4.00pm
For more information, visit: www.lovelossandlattes.com for details.
Image: Love, Loss and Lattes
Review: Jason Whyte