As the name might suggest, the premiere of The Festival is a decidedly more upbeat production than the other two pieces in Lone Twin’s The Catastrophe Trilogy.
The show opens with the cast kitted out in brightly coloured party clothes sitting in a café in Brisbane and singing about peppermint tea. There’s plenty more silliness throughout the performance: stand-out moments are Nina Tecklenburg pretending to be the drummer from U2 while wearing a plant pot on her head and some unconventional renditions from Bruce Springsteen and The Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Once again the plot is childishly simple, this time of the ‘girl-meets-boy’ variety, centring around the encounter between Jenny (Molly Haslund) and Oliver (Antoine Fraval) at a festival and their subsequent reunion one year on.
The dialogue is strained and displays an annoying amount of self-awareness at points. When Jenny asks her mother’s opinion about whether to take a road trip she replies, “I think you should stop singing. You and your friends have been doing a lot of singing”. Likewise, the constant narration and Jenny’s declaration to Oliver that “There is an attraction between us” become grating refusals to let the storyline or any of its tensions breathe.
But all of this is forgiven upon witnessing Haslund’s dance on the subject of how thinking about herself compares to thinking about Oliver when the pair are apart; illustrating complex feelings with brilliant nonsense seems to be Lone Twin’s forte. Equally lovely is the moment where a stranger stands up in the café and says, “I know I don’t know any of you, but I hope everything works out for you”.
The loss dealt with in The Festival is of a more subtle type than in the previous two shows, but none the less poignant for it.
- Kathleen Hall