Thursday, 5 March 2020

Going Down: How To Stay On Top When You're Getting Sucked Below - Comedy Review

What: Going Down - How To Stay on Top When You're Getting Sucked Below
When: 2 - 7 March 2020
Where: Upstairs, The Butterfly Club
Created by: Trudi Ranik
Performed by: Vivian Nguyen and Trudi Ranik
Trudi Ranik and Vivian Nguyen
We hear a lot about fake news these days, but apart from religious leaders and politicians, the biggest producers of codswallop are the people who populate the wellness industry. The most recent entry into this market is The Truru (Ranik) who is at The Butterfly Club this week to promote her new book, Going Down: How To Stay On Top When You're Getting Sucked Below.

I have to say that is one hell of a title and it really needs one hell of a show to support it. Whilst The Truru has a body of work behind her, I would suggest that at the moment the show does not earn its title - or perhaps it is truer to say it only earns it some of the time.

The Truru has been through a hard struggle, going into a very dark place after having made a name for herself as a wellness guru. Along the way to fame she has alienated all of her staff and there are a hoard of angry bloggers calling her out and saying she is full of shit.

Reaching the depths of despair and self-doubt The Truru realises her mistake has been her hubris and pulls herself out of the doldrums with her newest set of affirmations and leaning on her totem animal - the pigeon. It was through the incredible homing powers of the pigeon the truruth was revealed and The Crystal Method was born.

The Truru is determined to spread the joy and release of her newfound understanding and is using her D-MOC (Digital System Of Connection - also known as Instagram...) to spread the news about her SOT (System Of Thought). Along the way she has found love with a rock star who just happens to be releasing his own book at the same time... and together they are doing the talk show circuit. If only he would stop touching her!

Half way through the show The Truru is visited by her ex-personal assistant, Susan (Nguyen) and this is where the show really picks up and gets good. The Truru must use her newfound pigeon power to release the anger and tension Susan is exuding, and also stop her from creating a competing cult...er, I mean, system of wellness.

The arrival of Nguyen is a power punch of energy and a breath of fresh air the show really needs. Whilst the concept of Going Down is good, Ranik is just too real and believable. Comedy is about archetypes and exaggeration. There is no place for naturalism on a comedy stage and Ranik just doesn't quite understand this yet. She needs to release the clown!

The writing itself is funny and there is good interaction with video image. Unfortunately the sound on the video exerpts is bad. The levels are all over the place and there is an awful lot of digital distortion. The material itself is good and considering the AV is so integral to the show I would have expected more care to be taken on that score.

Going Down: How To Stay On Top When You're Getting Sucked Below is a really good start but Ranik needs to work with more experienced theatre makers to make it zing. Also, the show isn't about sex so maybe change the title...?

2.5 Stars

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