"Play School for the Mad" "Bubby, wacky, and most of all, unique."- GlamAdelaide
Photo Credit: Richard Termine at O'Neill Puppetry Conference, 2011
Small Talk is a quirky new theatre show set in a "Mothers' club for Inner Children".
Lana Schwarcz’s one-woman act Small Talk can be likened to a sort of ‘Play School for the Mad’. It is a mix of puppetry, comedy and character acting that highlights Schwarcz’ unique multi-media talents.Small Talk explores what would happen if there was an ‘Uber Sound Machine’ that can get you in touch with your inner child and even bring them out into the real world. This new-age science experiment is used by Tilly (Schwarcz) to help out a small group of women (also Schwarcz) who are having some troubling issues. But what happens if something goes wrong and you can’t get your inner child back in again?Schwarcz plays all four main characters, as well as puppeteering their inner child counterparts. There’s Tilly, the overly bubbly creator of the UberSound Machine; Margareet, the troubled single lady; Rachael, the snobbish expectant mother; and Jason, the bloke looking for love. Each are unique characters with their own mannerisms, quirks and backgrounds. Schwarcz moves between her four personalities with incredible ease, making the stage seem populated and alive.The world of Small Talk is made all the more vibrant with the use of the puppets and ingenious props, the foremost of which is the Uber Sound Machine. Clever sound recordings and lighting add an extra dimension of life to the play, and engross us in the action.Small Talk is an absolutely hilarious play, if you don’t mind a bit (or a lot) of black humour. At the same time, your own inner child is sure to enjoy the puppetry and craftsmanship involved. Small Talk is a bubbly, wacky, and most of all, unique show.
There’s one born on every stage – your inner child, that is. Hopefully acknowledging yours isn’t quite as traumatic as Small Talk portrays. If vulnerability is the essence of childhood, and the fear of heartbreak our biggest barrier to love, then this show breathes life into some mightybig concepts. That Girl’s consummate skills bring multiple characters to life in this one-woman play, as well as breathing life into several puppets, shadowpuppets and even inanimate objects such as her answering machine. Sometimes the character changes are fast and furious, but the audience is well-engaged and there is no difficulty suspending disbelief.Fear and freedom, as well as love and hate, are explored through the eyes of our inner children. And once we allow our inner children to bring the colour back into our adults world, can we even put the genie back?Rating: 4/5