Review: Things That Do Not C(o)unt, VAULT Festival

Things that do not count, VAULT Festival

An uncompromising look at a personal feminist odyssey, Things That Do Not C(o)unt plays the final week of VAULT Festival

“There’s always a stranger
And there’s always vodka”

I was a big fan of No Offence Theatre’s torn apart (dissolution) so the opportunity to catch their new show Things That Do Not C(o)unt in the final week of the VAULT Festival was one I was keen not to pass up. Written and performed by Nastazja Somers and co-created with Bj McNeill, it probes away at some of the key recurring themes that emerged in this festival.

Society’s expectations of women, and its expectations of how young women should deal with their nascent sexuality. Body image and the uneasy relationship that it inculcates with food. But there’s also a deeply personal vein to this show as well. Partly autobiographical in nature, Somers presents and investigates her Polish heritage too, exploring that impact too. Continue reading “Review: Things That Do Not C(o)unt, VAULT Festival”

Review: torn apart (dissolution), Hope

“Everything is slipping out of my control”

They fuck you up, your mum and dad. Or do they? Among the many themes raised by Bj McNeill’s is nature versus nurture, questioning if there’s an inescapable genetic legacy carried down by parents whether they’re a part of one’s life or not, looking at what impact their presence – or otherwise – has on one’s own emotional development. Are we doomed to repeat their mistakes or are we actually just responsible for our own fuck ups.

torn apart (dissolution) approaches this with a triptych of relationships in stark relief. A Polish student and an American soldier connect in 1980s West Germany; an Australian backpacker parties hard like it is 1999, realising that her boyfriend has fallen even harder despite her visa expiry date fast approaching; and also in London, in the present day, Holly’s love for Erica is challenged by long-reaching shadows from both of their pasts.

Continue reading “Review: torn apart (dissolution), Hope”