Ollie and the Minotaur by Duncan Graham

Most of the time you know what you're in for when you go to see something. This show, billed as three mates heading to a beach shack for the weekend, seemed pretty straight forward. And for the first part of the play that's really all it was: a bunch of girls who grew up together, getting smashed, reminiscing and reflecting on where they are in life.

You think you see where this is going – the single mum friend wants things to stay the same, the friend who held herself back is ready to move forward, the one who brands herself as an independent successful woman is actually stuck in a shit relationship.

So you sit there in this "naturalistic" style of play, peeking in on their weekend. You reckon they'll laugh, you'll laugh, they'll cry, you'll cry, and they'll all be happier in the end for this cathartic weekend of sharing and rumination.

Nope.

I'll just quote the description: "This year... everything unravels".

As for the actual performance, I felt that the three took time to warm up. Initially I was a bit too aware that I was watching a play. They were directing their gaze too far out and their interaction was stilted. However, about halfway through, I felt like they forgot that we, the audience, were there (in a good way). Possibly the turning point was a genuine, seemingly-unscripted belly laugh between the three, after which their delivery was much more relaxed.

But then the story took its turn and it all ended very abruptly. While I see that this was meant to be the climax, it did feel like a bit of a storyline cop out to leave the unravelling to the end and have nothing further to round it off.

So, I guess what I'm saying is if you just wanted a light hearted bit of fun to take a group of mates along to, this isn't the show. Having said that, this is a decent journey and worth the time as long as you realise you're in for more of a Thelma & Louise than a Romy and Michele.

★★★