#DearDiary had great potential, and I was intrigued to see it (it’s possible I was an avid diary keeper at a young age). However, this intrigue left me as the show progressed, and I was left feeling simply disappointed in the end result.
From what I could gather, the show was brought together in two weeks, and unfortunately, it shows. The writing seems rushed and poorly edited, jumping into each part of the performance with a lack of direction from the previous. Other moments seem random and odds with metaphors being shoved into the audiences faces at an alarming rate. The solo performer, Andi Snelling, climbing out of a trunk and the numerous suitcases that decorate the stage and are used to hide diaries in, for example are a clear metaphor for baggage. It seems that the show attempted to be too artsy though, claiming itself satirical and a comedy with self-reflection. All that it seems to project though is an air of pretentiousness and unnecessary antics that don’t add to the performance.
Snelling is animated upon the stage, dramatically engaging the audience with her mannerisms. Her performance is over the top and eager, glancing up at the audience with hopeful eyes at every moment. She seems to be intending to interact with them without speaking, but it comes across as a little needy and desperate for approval.
The few pieces of comedy within the show fall flat, with a sprinkle of polite laughter throughout the audience with the exception of one lady that seemed to laugh at every movement. The comedy itself is cheesy and cheap, adding nothing to the performance – I would have preferred to see it without.
#DearDiary had potential, but fell woefully short. With more rehearsal and workshopping, I can imagine they would have put on a fantastic performance, but as it is the show felt unfinished and much too long.
#DearDiary plays at the Butterfly Club until 27 September at the Melbourne Fringe Festival. For more information and for tickets, head to the Melbourne Fringe Festival website.