Holden Street Theatres
Until 11 Mar 2017

Review by Anthony Vawser

For a group of artists to take on an important, potentially challenging topic; to make a show from that topic which is brief yet deep as well as entertaining; to present that show in a manner that feels innovative and valuable…These are the dreams of which Fringe Festivals are made. “HeySorryGottaGoBye”, directed by Claudia Osborne (and co-written by her with Thomas de Angelis) achieves all of these admirable objectives.

This is not quite enough to make it truly brilliant – one cannot help but wonder what a full-length production from these people would amount to, while the thirty-minutes-or-so on offer here gets a little too indulgent and abstract for its own good at times – but this is still an easily recommendable experience.

Our protagonist Wally (played by legally blind performer Sam Brewer, who originated the concept together with his director, and who devised the piece in a collective effort with his co-stars) is clearly in the grip of social anxiety upon his arrival at a party. Two young women (Charlie Davenport & Grace Victoria) who know him are doing their best to be welcoming, but frustration sets in soon enough, and Wally is off on an adventure all his own - in a world that is brought to amazing, enveloping, colourful life by the animation and sound design of Daniel Harris and Angus Mills.

If you find yourself unable to relate to the insecurities and fears displayed by Wally, then you’re more fortunate than some – including this reviewer. The visual and aural spectacle is at its best when closely tied to the emotional state of its central character, either striving to escape reality or looking inward to confront it. The excellent performances combine with technical accomplishment and imagination – plus the right amount of humour - to create a small gem.

Producer Ruth Hollows deserves credit for bringing a show of such imagination and empathy to Adelaide where we have the chance to enjoy it.

Rating: 3.5 stars (out of 5)