Printable CopyMISFITS
Stomping Ground
Until 06 Mar 2016

Review by Paige Mulholland

“Misfits” by the STS Grad Co is intriguing and interesting, if not always communicative. The themes of love and isolation are universal, and it is these things that anchor the narratives in “Misfits” together. Some narratives work, some don’t, but on the whole, the show is reflective and challenging and certainly gives you plenty to speculate about after it is over.

Set in a laundromat (but often not really interacting with or addressing this surprising location choice), “Misfits” is a piece of physical, dialogue-free theatre. A group of young people struggle to find connection, love and feel the pressure to conform, which they express in a series of overlapping narratives.

The concepts were wisely chosen and felt pertinent for the young cast, but sometimes they didn’t quite shine through. Some of the narratives could be clearly followed or at least identified as a love story, a story of loneliness, etc. but others seemed to sail over the small audience’s heads. In abstract theatre it is common practice to make the audience work a little harder to understand the piece, but sometimes these pieces felt blurry and fragmented, encouraging the audience to lose focus rather than work harder to understand.

Although the performance sometimes felt unfocused, the cast did not; with their enthusiasm and dedication, it was clear that the ensemble had put their blood, sweat and tears into this production (sometimes literally; one player had blood running down her knee for most of the performance after some rough skids on the floor).

The set, comprised mostly of laundry baskets and chairs, is a simple and clear way to convey the location, but both the look of the set and the directions of the performers makes it feel like the show was designed to be In the Round. In a studio with movable chairs and flexible space, it seems strange that that the STS Grad Co team chose to present their show traditionally rather than in a more unusual, and in this case more appropriate, seating configuration.

“Misfits” needs some tweaking, but at times it was poignant and exciting; the seeds are there, and, with a little time for growth, it’s likely to turn into a unique and thought-provoking piece of abstract theatre.

Rating: 3 stars (out of 5)