Fringe Review: #DearDiary


Presented by Andi Snelling
Review 29 February 2016

For 24 years writer and performer Andi Snelling recorded her thoughts, feelings and experiences of growing up, inside her diary. #DearDiary is the culmination of those 24 years as she explores her wild inner psyche using cleverly chosen snippets from her diary.

#DearDiary is an eclectic combination of spoken word, crazy interpretive dance, song and improvisation that charts the course of several key years in the author/performer’s life.  Snelling is charming, charismatic and hilarious, pulling off this unique show with a flair that grips the audience. Her expression, physically and vocally, wonderfully portrays all the different steps along her life journey – she is a delight to watch. Notably impressive is her improvisation and audience reaction, which perfectly blended with pre-written dialogue and left the audience in stitches.

Victoria Haslam’s design is beautiful at every step of the way. The small suitcases dotted around the stage are used well and brilliantly represent the hidden secrets of Snelling’s mind. Her costume is just as fantastic with vibrant colours that more than match the performer wearing them. The projections were useful for keeping track of the timing of the diary entries but its placement off to the side means that it felt unnatural and distracting to look over to it.

The show has a fantastic pace and leaves you craving more, helped along by Danielle Cresp’s excellent direction. The intimate theatre, perfect for this intimate show, is used to its fullest extent with every inch of the stage being utilised.

The play has a good balance between humour and the deeper issues of adolescence and young adulthood. Snelling’s writing is engaging and funny but does lose its way towards the middle. This could, however, be a necessary choice as this was a period of time where Snelling didn’t write in the diary. Even when the writing becomes slightly muddled, Snelling’s performance carries the show through.

This small, heart-warming show is definitely one to catch before the Fringe ends. Its delightful energy enthrals the audience and Snelling’s performance is outstanding. Don’t miss this show!

Rating (out of 5): 4.5

Reviewed by Nathan Quadrio

Venue: Bakehouse Theatre
Season: 29 February – 5 March
Duration: 1 hour
Tickets: $10 – $20


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