My Significant Other is a Mobile Phone
Felicity Arts @ La Boheme
7:30pm, Wed 11 Mar 2009
Despite La Boheme being just around the corner from my workplace, I managed to go to completely the wrong venue prior to this performance; realising I was supposed to be on Grote, rather than Gouger, lead to one of those dizzying moments of physical disorientation. As a result, I was one of the last punters to stroll into the packed room.
The venue’s clearly been oversold – there’s people left standing at the bar, the room is stifling, and I’m sharing a footstool with someone else in lieu of traditional seating. Luckily, her arse was a lot thinner (and prettier) than mine, lest we would’ve been in perilous seating trouble. As it was, the audience was labouring with the heat, the leaden atmosphere, and the crapulent sightlines; those at the back of the room (where all the comfy chairs were) had no chance of a decent view.
The characters played by Nikki Aitken and Sidonie Henbest meet inadvertently at a café, and it’s a classic case of opposites attract. They get on each others nerves, find some common ground – through their relationship issues, as relayed by their titular mobile phones – and wind up bestest of friends. There’s plenty of singing on the way (mostly showtunes, Cole Porter, and the odd original), and decent accompaniment by Adam Lutley on piano.
But it’s all so… unremarkable.
Yes, the girls’ singing is pretty good. But the story itself is equivalently lame and, though the programme makes lofty claims of insight into how we define ourselves in the digital age, it never really hits home; the phone just remains a link, a thematic excuse. Even the big girlie feelgood ending didn’t really raise this one out of the middle-of-the-road.