Bakehouse Theatre
Until 22 Feb 2020

Review by Helen Karakulak

“A Butterfly Effect” promises a look into how life changing a small decision can be by presenting the same scenario twice with different outcomes, all through improvised drama.

The story this night follows four characters, a couple, and each of their sisters. They navigate the changing dynamics of their relationships impacted by being unable to have a child and using an egg donor via IVF.

The plot had potential, but with only slightly altered dialogue and barely differing consequences to the actions of mundane characters, this production is repetitive rather than realistic.

Jessica Luu as the videogame-obsessed Dani was a highlight of the production, comfortable in her role and steering interaction with the others. Likewise, Rhys Auten commanded the stage as the critical, deadpan Darren, lending much needed humour to an otherwise bland production.

Alison, played by Amanda Knights, was the most emotive of the ensemble, with Knights’ physicality and projection making her character stand out. Had this expression been consistent and met equally by her co-stars, perhaps the production would have inspired more enthusiasm from its audience. Rather, without being maintained throughout, the bursts of expression were jarring among stilted dialogue and pauses indicative of actors trying to think of their next line, interrupting the flow of the performance.

Despite valiant attempts from performers, “A Butterfly Effect” flounders in trying to deliver the much-desired delights of improv. With an interesting concept, this production lives up to the name of its company, well and truly feeling like a first draft in need of some tweaks.

Rating: 2 stars (out of 5)