Despite an important story and great songs, this one would work better as an audio recording.
Presented by Lane Hinchcliffe and Hartstone-Kitney Productions
Reviewed 21 February 2022
The clever title of this professionally recorded show is a play on writer/performer Lane Hinchcliffe – AKA Dr Lane – prepping for both surgery and the stage. He’s a musical medico offering his one man show online as part of the Adelaide Fringe’s ‘watch from home’ selection of live, on-demand, and interactive events. All profits will be donated towards youth mental health.
This is a musical autobiography recorded on 16 January 2022 in front of a live audience. Hinchcliffe shares his story from childhood, through puberty, and into adulthood, talking about suffering with anxiety and hearing the damaging messages of the vocal minority telling him he’s not normal. It’s a coming-of-age narrative with a happy ending but comes with a trigger warning due to its references to mental health and suicide.
Hinchcliffe’s life story is interspersed with snippets from 16 showtunes, some of which get their lyrics adapted to suit his tale. They’re all popular songs, drawn from the likes of Annie Get Your Gun, HMS Pinafore, Show Boat, Hair, Cats, Phantom of the Opera, Miss Saigon, Guys and Dolls and more.
His voice is, at times, sensational, belting out tunes and holding notes, despite the odd rocky start to a few songs. Dr Lane’s vocal range is something to admire. Under the direction of Amelia Ryan however, there’s not a lot else to impress. He plants himself on the stage and doesn’t move for the entirety of the show, other than to alternate between sitting and standing. While the storytelling is intimate and personal, the static presentation doesn’t make for compelling viewing.
It’s an enormous credit to anyone willing to openly share such a personal story, and many young people struggling with their identity could find a lot of important, positive messages to relate to. As a piece of theatre however, an audio recording would suffice.
Reviewed by Rod Lewis
Venue: On Demand Black Box Live (watch from home)
Duration: 1 hour
Rating out of 5: 2.5
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