[EDIT: This post included a good few images from the play. The kids at Rabbit must’ve been a bit hurt by this review and as such have demanded that the images be taken down, citing the ‘healthy and safety risks’ of photography in the venue. Fortunately this is the limit of their rights to censor me.]
What are these pictures of?
Yes, it does look like yet another bunch of urban Shazzas and Dazzas having a chat at Laruche, but this is in fact the set of ‘Rabbit’, a new play at Metro Arts. In summary, it is a lot like listening in on a bunch of Shazzas and Dazzas having a chat at Laruche.
Whether or not you should see Rabbit will depend heavily on what you hope to get from it. If you’re after genuine entertainment or intellectual stimuation, this show is a desert. The themes are crashingly banal, and although the actors are pretty good they are hobbled by a limited script. In its best moments Rabbit delivers a handful of decent one-liners, but this handful of goodness pales in comparison to the vat of slop that is the rest of the dialogue, mostly composed of desperately unclever commentary on sexuality, gender relations and career angst. Rabbit is a slice of life, cut from one of humanity’s stalest cakes.
On the other hand, Rabbit is good value if you want a bit of inspiration. The characters are so irritating, their dilemmas so trite and their interests so selfish that you WILL passionately want to be unlike them. If you fear that you are becoming a fat, mediocre sow in life’s mud-wallow, Rabbit shows you what you’re probably like. You will be both afraid and motivated. It certainly gave me a little shudder when the ‘arrogant lawyer’ character announced that he was a writer…
The other thing you may get from Rabbit is a bit of perspective on grief. The play flicks (quite cleverly, using stage lighting) between two basic scenes: a noisy bar, and the lead character’s memories of her father.
[Censored: again by order of the charming staff at Rabbit]
This father is on his way out of life and she is battling that grief painfully – she doesn’t hold together very well at all, and even as you cringe at her (amazingly selfish) emotional flailing you may just recognise the way that the death of a beloved parent can mess a person up. Very poignantly, at one point she wails “Now who will tell me what to do?”. If they were aiming for a commentary on Gen Y, they might just have hit their mark.
At just $12 for two hours of entertainment, you won’t feel totally ripped off if you do give Rabbit a go. Metro Arts is a good spot and the adjacent Verve’s beer and cider selection is great, so if you’re prepared to smash a fair few pre-play beverages you might just have a good time in Rabbit. Otherwise, give this one a miss and consider the interesting-looking theatre options at La Boite or Judith Wright Centre.