Do you know that feeling of buying a snack that is beautifully packaged in a shiny cardboard box but, when you open it, the actual product only fills half the box? The sort of disappointment that follows is similar to the one I felt after watching A Butterfly Effect.
In view of its attractive blurb on the Adelaide Fringe programme, I booked this show full of expectations. Even more so because the Southern Australian festival, if compared to its Scottish counterpart, has a sparse offering in the morning/afternoon. Therefore, the 6PM slot – when this show was scheduled – is prime time, with many events happening at once.
As the title suggests, it is intended as a journey into the consequences of our decisions and how these generate a ripple effect onto a succession of future events. Saying yes to a date, rejecting a job offer, deciding to have a child, all fundamental milestones in our lives, in particular because of their long-term implications. With such a complex topic, I was certain I’d get plenty of food for thought.
In the opening scene, a man and a woman are celebrating his 40th anniversary, when, almost unintentionally, he suggests they should get married. She jumps at the opportunity and immediately starts the big planning, leaving him nervous about the future. In the second half, we’re represented with the same scene but, this time, he suggests that they should have a baby, which generates a different set of reactions and consequences. Only partially scripted and too obviously performed ad-lib, the finished product lacks insight, barely scratching the surface of such an intricate matter.
Most of the interactions involve only two of the actors, whilst the other two try – with poor results – to hide behind some panelling. I wonder why they weren’t using the door that is on stage to actually exit the scene fully. Everything screamed school drama to the point that I found myself thinking with regret of the other shows I had discarded instead.
Not even at its first Adelaide outing, the blurb boasts a sell-out run in 2015 which wasn’t well-received by the critics either. Although all the pitfalls seem still unresolved, I believe there must be an audience for it.
Presented by: First Draft
Booking Information: This show has completed its current run.