Article Title:Review: I Love You Bro
Author or Credit:Hannah Spyksma
Published on:5th August 2011 - 12:38 pm
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Story ID:10693
Text:Being a teenager is hard at the best of times, but somehow Silo Theatre/Second Cousin Production's I Love You, Bro makes surviving life as a teenager seem like a near impossible feat. Crafted from the true story of a 14-year-old in Manchester, the Kiwi-adaption of Adam J. A. Cass' play is a somewhat thrilling, somewhat disturbing, and somewhat fascinating insight into the mind of a teenager who invents a internet world of deceit to deal with the strange feelings of loneliness, sexuality, and love. Not for the faint hearted, the edgy and confronting show is a guaranteed interesting night at the theatre. Playing until August 20, the one-man show draws audience into a dimly lit room at The Herald, for an hour and a half of mind-splitting intensity. You have to hand it to actor Tim Carlson, who plays an astonishing 13 characters without leaving the stage once. With nothing but a chair, a door frame, and an impressive ability to change his body language and tone, Carlson manages to lace together the toxic yet intriguing story. Attracted to another male, the inquisitive but lonely 14-year-old Johnny starts inventing characters to try and convince his crush that he is a female. The broken kid enters a broken world of fantasy and love, and spins a web of lies and identities that snowball into a beast that he can’t control. Dealing with the reality of a sexuality that doesn’t fit expectations of a rugby-loving, straight male Kiwi society, is one of the themes presented in the show. Seeing into the mind of a teenager, as he struggles to identify and acknowledge these feelings makes for an entertaining and thought provoking experience. When reality spirals out of control for Johnny, it is easy to sympathise with aspects of several of his multiple characters. But clever lighting and some well placed shadows make the dark and sinister elements of the show even creepier, leaving the feeling that even if life is far from ideal; it surely doesn’t need to get that bad. The electric atmosphere Carlson creates, coupled with and a quirky, dramatic and piercing story, makes this a show worth checking out - just don’t expect to leave feeling light-hearted and uplifted. Hannah Spyksma - 5th August 2011    
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