A Four-Eyed Guide to the Galaxy
Rowena Hutson @ Tuxedo Cat – Rivers Studio
7:15pm, Mon 2 Mar 2015
Rowena Hutson’s previous show was a thoughtful, challenging affair that was unique in its whimsical presentation; this carried through to A Four-Eyed Guide to the Galaxy. Hutson plays an enthusiastic junior astronomer, dubiously named “Buzz Lightyear”; broken-hearted, she dreams of travelling to the stars with her equally-broken sausage dog, Sputnik 2. Her mode of travel: a lo-fi cardboard space ship.
Buzz appears in her spacesuit (astronomy-themed pyjamas), with Sputnik 2 strapped to her chest; as she plots and engages in her travel, she addresses the audience with beautifully lyrical poetic text. But there’s also a sweet childish naïvety to her speech, too, which adds elements of humour to proceedings; lo-fi props, in conjunction with some cheerful audience interaction, created an ethereal sense of space at a low cost.
The script is both charmingly simplistic and coherently detailed; it’s the perfect story for anyone who has ever dreamt of going to space. But the recurring themes of loneliness create a pessimistic aftertaste which contrasts the quirky humour found elsewhere in the script; Hutson somehow creates a sweet atmosphere that makes you smile one moment, and feel impossibly sad – and yet hopelessly optimistic – the next.
A Four-Eyed Guide to the Galaxy was a deceptively deep piece of lo-fi theatre. Emotionally complex, and alternating between scientific fact and implausibility, it’s another compelling production from Hutson, and firmly entrenches her on the Must-See List.
— Pete Muller (@festivalfreakAU) March 2, 2015