Monday 28 September 2015

Become a Functional Adult in 45 Minutes review - Melbourne Fringe

Sophie Joske wants to become an adult. She wants to be accomplished and respected as a person, but she's not quite there yet. Presented as part of the 2015 Melbourne Fringe Festival, Become a Functional Adult in 45 Minutes is a cautionary tale in which Joske explores what life must be like to be a successful adult.

Joske sets her sights on graduating from the Mature Learning Academy as an 'adult' so she can finally go out and live her life. What follows, is a series of satirical 'self-help' tests in a variety of categories, such as work, social skills, relationships and sex, to assess just how prepared Joske is at handling these situations as a fully-fledged adult. Sadly, she fails at each, but not without some laughs along the way.

Joske’s punch lines are well delivered and the flashbacks scenes are a touch of gold. One of the many great moments of the show is the "positive female affirmations" that play over the speakers as Joske gets changed into a different outfit. Joske's desperation to graduate, reaches a dramatic climax that you can see coming but are still and stunned and surprised by what has eventuated. The one serious moment of the show is executed extremely well and really pushes the message Joske is trying to say.

Become a Functional Adult in 45 Minutes offers a witty critique of modern society and the sexism and gender inequalities that are so prevalent within it. A memorable example of this is the process women ‘must’ go through in order to look and smell attractive enough to the opposite sex whereas men...just need to take a shower. Joske also takes a swipe at our ageist society, which will question your life choices if you are over 30, and not yet married with children.

Become a Functional Adult in 45 Minutes is a highly restrained and subtle look at how society is programming us to be the type of adults it wants us to be rather than allowing people to make their own choices. It's an important message for any person of any gender or sex to be aware of. Joske’s balance of humour and critique is well thought out that has you walking out questioning what exactly has influenced our decisions in life but with a smile on your face.

Venue: Club Voltaire, 14 Raglan St, North Melbourne, 3051
Season: Until 28 September | 7.30pm
Tickets: $20 Full | $17 Conc
Bookings: Melbourne Fringe Festival

* Original review appeared on Theatre Press on 28 September

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