Joh Hartog Productions
Bakehouse Theatre
Until 01 Dec 2018

Review by Luke Wagner

If people want to achieve change in the world, sometimes the only way to make it happen is to do something about it. That is exactly what Fefu and her friends do in this thought provoking play.

Fefu has invited a group of women to her home to prepare for a fundraiser they are planning to improve education. Each woman in the room has experienced a range of challenges in life, but their friend Fefu brings them together with her bold, empowered confidence. As the show continues, we get to see a closer look into the lives of these women and see that behind it all lies a range of insecurities, vulnerabilities and heartbreaks.

This production is one of the most unique that is likely to be staged in Adelaide this year. Act one take place in Fefu’s living room on the main stage of the Bakehouse Theatre – then, in act two, the audience is separated into four groups and then rotate to different rooms around the theatre to experience closer encounters with each pair of characters. The third act then reunites the audience to conclude the show. These more intimate scenes helped to further develop each character and give more insight into who they are and what their relationships are like. Unfortunately these didn’t all feel like the received enough attention to follow this development into act three.

This all-female cast all did well with their characters. Krystal Brock as Fefu was strong and confident. She was a great anchor for the show and connected well with each character. Mikayla Lynch as Emma, Stefanie Rossi as Paula, Rahima Russel as Cindy, and Lisa Klanzi as Julia were all strong in their roles with each woman delivering strong performances. Klanzi in particular was good as Julia when faced with recounting past trauma and the issues that stayed with her as a result.

Joh Hartog has beautifully staged this show. The sets in each room felt real and enveloped the audience into Fefu’s home. It can be challenging to achieve a theatre-in-the-round setting, but in this show it works extremely well as the audience was almost part of the show.

For those who enjoy innovative and thought provoking theatre that celebrates powerful and strong women, then Fefu and her friends is definitely and evening of theatre that you will remember for some time.