It can be a pretty confronting moment when a plastic stick covered in your pee is going to determine the rest of your life. In Pee Stick, we are introduced to 26 year-old Annie who may or may not be pregnant, but we will all know in roughly 50 minutes. In that time, Annie's mind runs rife with thoughts of her own childhood as well as what the future will bring, as she attempts to comprehend the possible changes in her life, all while incorporating some cheesy 80s dance moves and songs, this is 1987 after all.
Written and performed by Carly Milroy, Annie contends with issues a woman in the late 80s would have to face as a (potentially) single mother, from receiving judgements from strangers and gossipy shop assistants to the logistical nightmare of requesting maternity leave from her manager Colleen, where Annie spends her time transferring data from a floppy disk to a CD-ROM - this is the way of the future she excitedly informs us.
We also meet Annie's mother who despite her good intentions, constantly smothers Annie and thinks she knows what's best. Milroy is intelligent enough to not make the show about who the father of her baby is and most importantly, not shaming Annie as to why she was having unprotected sex. We never learn the identity of who the father is or any of the circumstances leading up to the encounter, which allows for the story to solely focus on what Annie wants to do and allows Milroy to really hone in on Annie's state of mind.
The musical numbers are effectively used to express Annie's innermost insecurities and concerns about becoming a single mother and hoping that she doesn't ruin her baby's life, with Milroy incorporating some classic 80s dance moves. Pee Stick takes place inside the bathroom of Annie's house and is convincingly 80s decorated, and along with the costumes, you can easily feel like you have travelled back in time.
Annie may sing about probably getting everything wrong as a mother, but Milroy gets a lot right in this charming little cabaret comedy about preparing for a life uncertain.
Click here to read my interview with Carly Milroy.
Venue: Courthouse Hotel, Cnr Errol & Queensberry St., North Melbourne.
Season: until 21 September | Mon - Sat 7:10pm, Sun 6:10pm
Length: 50 minutes
Tickets: $20 Full | $17 Conc, Group 4+ and Cheap Tuesday
Bookings: Melbourne Fringe Festival