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Image: Jamie Breen

5 stars

Review by Brodie Paparella

See Minnie & Mona Play Dead. See it. Seriously, now. Go.

Alright, I’ll elaborate!

The issue with plays-that-have-plays-within-them is that my sense of empathy and reality is disconnected, my safe spot as an audience member is compromised, my attachment to the content made all the more volatile. This is a device used so exquisitely in this production, I felt a lot of nauseous inertia afterward.

There wasn’t a single second of this show I did not like. I haven’t laughed so hard in a theatre ever before, and the juxtaposition of randomised sport against the “I don’t want to play anymore” sucker-punch that pinpoints the feeling of trauma like a harpoon left me raw. There is a terrible freedom in laughing at the most horrific event in human life: it’s premature and purposeful conclusion. Gita Bezard and Arielle Gray as Minnie and Mona respectively give flawless representations of how we approach our own demise, and how we might be so fascinated by its prospects that we expedite it. Writer Jeffrey Jay Fowler and director Kathryn Osborne are beautifully infused in the action, while Alissa De Souza’s design makes the shifts in space effective, allowing subtler moments room to echo.

I strongly recommend taking as many friends to see this as you can, if for no other reason than it is quotable for all the right reasons #unicornwithacheekysecret. But more so because mental illness, depression, suicide are all topics we fear to tread too heavily upon. Perhaps we’re more afraid of being thought of as morbid than as uncaring, more afraid to hear that someone is not OK than to plead ignorance. Congratulations to The Last Great Hunt for opening up the ribcages.

So see Minnie and Mona Play Dead. Call Lifeline on 13 11 14 after if you need.

Minnie and Mona Play Dead is on as part of Melbourne Fringe at The North Melbourne Town Hall from 18th September – 3rd October.