Jo Austin. Photo credit: Tin Do
What: One More Try by Jo Zealand
Where: Henrietta’s at The Henry Austin
One More Try is a performance about performing, and Jo Zealand delivers irreverence and punchiness with the occasional glimpses of the performer beneath that make up the substance of the show.
It starts sudden and intense, as Zealand rapidly runs through a cacophony of performing guises to comedic effect. Throughout she reasons with her ‘monkey mind’, a physical manifestation of her inner voice and insecurities. A disembodied third voice coming from the audience is performed to, and the audience proper is left in an almost voyeuristic position observing both the performer and the imagined audience; catching the occasional, fourth wall breaking commentary on the whole thing.
The audience’s initial hesitance to participate is anticipated and worked into the performance; Zealand’s improvisation comes in bursts, and is used to deliver self-aware observations on the anxieties and quirks of performance – the points are nuanced and endearingly self depreciating.
This is the strength of the show, and there really should be more space (both physically and in the performance) for it. If you’re an aspiring creative, a self-aware supporter of the arts or a glam-rock-swing fan, you’d want to give One More Try a go.
3 out of 5 stars
– Tin Do