REVIEW: My Struggle (Anywhere Fest)

My Struggle: The Life and Times of an Individ
(In a World Full of Hipsters)

Reviewed by Nerissa Rowan, May 8.
Presented as part of the 2013 Anywhere Theatre Festival.

You may think hipsters are a little crazy, rather intimidating or totes groovy. Whatever your perspective, this sub-cultural satire is unlikely to change it, but it will make you laugh.

Melding film, dance, music and impressive bad facial hair, My Struggle: The Life and Times of an Individ (In a World Full of Hipsters) takes three bored soldiers into a parallel universe where their best friend has become an art school hipster. In the hope of being able to get home, they help him on his quest to snag the girl of his dreams.

So it’s a love story, right? Not so much. It’s mainly a satire, looking at the price of cool, the dangers of expectations and the pitfalls of conforming to non-conformity. Or maybe that’s not what it was about and I wasn’t cool enough to work it out. Whatevs.

There are a few intense moments which may take you by surprise to add depth to what would otherwise be a light and enjoyable comedy. It’s not difficult to see the parallels being drawn here, yet I let my guard down while giggling at the stereotypes, and the menace caught me almost unawares.

The talented cast make full use of the space. Most of the action takes place on the bare stage, with the curved white wall of this photography studio creating the perfect canvas for projecting the filmed action and backdrops. But the actors move through the audience, up the stairs and into the bar on the upper level.  By the end of the piece all of us, from those perched on the bar stools to those on our low slung chairs closer to the main action, become part of proceedings.

It’s worth noting — as many people were caught out by it — that the 75 minute running time listed on the website does not include an interval. Starting just after 8, the show ended at 9:50pm. This is particularly important if you’re catching public transport.

So squeeze into your tight jeans, slip on your ironic shirt and lace up your vintage sneakers for a fun and thought provoking night. Although you might want to see this one before it becomes cool, you’re too late.

I give it a big green tick.

My Struggle: The Life and Times of an Individual (In a World Full of Hipsters) runs at SYC Studios, 37 Manilla St, East Brisbane from 8 to 11 May, 2013.

Nerissa Rowan is a poet, performer, Arts Hub reviewer, and former OffStreet PressGang member. 

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