10 Things You Can’t Do On Stage

By Colin Flaherty

Rules are meant to be broken and that is the conceit behind this very Fringe show. Caitlin “Coby” Yolland & Jaklene Vukasinovic set out to flagrantly disregard all that their drama training had instilled in them. It was an ambitious endeavour but raised questions about whether their method was the most entertaining and effective one.

This is a show devised by a pair of recent Drama graduates keen to show off what they have learnt in University and apply it literally to a performance piece. It also gave them a platform to display their acting chops, most notably as improvisers. Through some songs, numerous improvised scenes and general banter, they broke the theatrical rules, pointed them out and discussed them; some were glossed over while others received in-depth exploration.

The main problem with using improvisations to illustrate the rules was that some may question the purity of their spontaneity. They had to demonstrate a violation clearly so they needed to have some sort of pre-planned structure to do so, which may seem like a cop out to Impro fans. Typical of most Impro theirs was a mixed bag in terms of success, sometimes missing some obvious threads that could be followed to laughs. When they did manage to hit upon an interesting thread they were talented enough to develop it into amusing ideas to delight the audience.

Their banter appeared to be a mixture of scripted and off the cuff dialogue that, while keeping with the mood of the piece, may seem too messy and unprofessional for some audience members expecting a bit more polish. However, the duo’s stage personas were delightful and perky making an hour in their company an enjoyable experience but a lot of the time you wished that they would just get to the point without all the faffing about. I know that this banter sometimes led to some ‘rule breaking’ but when it didn’t we were in danger of drifting off.

This show is certainly geared towards young thespians and is likely to float the boat of drama students. Although there are a number of amusing moments to raise some laughs, it may not be enough to maintain the interest of the general public.

10 Things You Can’t Do On Stage is on at The Portland Hotel at 8pm until October 4.