Presented by Wings2Fly Theatre
Adelaide’s up and coming youth actors delighted audiences this weekend in Wings2Fly’s first productions of the season. Wings2Fly educates young actors in performing arts and gives them a place to challenge themselves and grow their abilities. The weekend’s double header of The Day the Internet Died and How to Survive Being in a Shakespeare Play were brought together in a short period of time and highlighted the local, young talent in two satirical performances.
The opening show, The Day the Internet Died, begins when a town’s internet suddenly stops functioning. The townspeople now must navigate everyday life without the internet, a seemingly impossible feat. As the show progresses, we realise the misalignment of our online and real-life selves. Actions such as Google searching or using online dating applications seem downright ludicrous when we incorporate them into offline, human interactions.
The first group of actors in The Day the Internet Died displayed excellent stage presence. In the opening scene, the actors faced away from the audience, but there was no difficulty in hearing them as they projected their voices like seasoned professionals. They also used the stage ingeniously, sectioning off the stage with lighting to indicate a different scene and utilising the hallway that led to the theatre’s exit.
It was hard not to see the irony in this play as the young actors have never lived in a world without the internet. Yet they are showing, dare educating, the audience on the preposterous reliance we all have to the world wide web. Though some references, like Snapchat’s photos disappearing once viewed, may not have been understood by all members of the audience, the moral of the story was not lost in the comedy.
The next performance, How to Survive Being in a Shakespeare Play, guided the audience through the rules of how to stay alive in any of Shakespeare’s tragedies. The show’s two narrators explained each rule in an aside while the other cast members interpreted the rule and showed how to dodge the theatrical bullet of death. All of Shakespeare’s main characters, like Romeo & Juliet, Caesar, and Ophelia, made an appearance and brought a sense of humour into evading the well-known morbid endings.
How to Survive Being in a Shakespeare Play brought many challenges to the actors, but they handled them with grace and poise. A Shakespearean play always brings tricky iambic pentameter lines for memorisation, but the actors never missed a beat. To aid in differentiating scenes, one actor even played a fanfare, the music played to announce the arrival of an important person, on the trumpet. In addition, there was an abundance of different characters and limited actors, so the production had to distinguish them with unique wardrobes. The costume changes were obviously given a lot of thought and were executed superbly with haste. The cast members of How to Survive Being in a Shakespeare Play were able to put a fresh comedic spin on what is usually just another mundane Shakespearean play.
Directors Michelle Nightingale and Alicia Zorkovic brilliantly chose the correct plays for the performing age group. They were short and punchy, keeping the audience’s attention with multiple scene changes and comedic one liners. In both performances, the actors’ enthusiasm was palpable and the grace in which they handled themselves was commendable.
The Holden Street Theatre provided a lovely atmosphere for both The Day the Internet Died and How to Survive Being in a Shakespeare Play. The building, a converted church, is the perfect theatre for a matinee as once the door shuts, there is no outside noise or sunlight. The lighting system that supplements the shows also adds to the professionalism of the theatre. It is well worth a visit to the Holden Street Theatre to see the local talent displayed on stage.
Reviewed by Alessa Young