Tamagotchi Reset and Other Doomsdays
Review by Lara Fox
The room for Tamagotchi Reset and Other Doomsdays was full to the brim with bustling and eager theatre-goers; as soon as the doors opened the electricity was high in the room and this energy did not dip throughout the show. A testament to the actors’ skill and passion and the wit of writers Finn O’Brannagain and Scott Sandwich, Tamagotchi Reset delivered a fast-paced and totally loveable experience.
The stage was lined with handmade props made from cut-out cardboard which had been erected, coloured and painted in different ways to form a giant Tamagotchi, amongst other things. The clever designs by Sarah Chirichilli worked well to make the area feel like an intimate, cosy lecture theatre or bedroom, and to bring the audience closer to the characters.
The show opened with Scott (Izzy McDonald), a sassy 15 year old, on New Year’s Eve of the year 2000. She is stuck at home with her family due to her dad’s worries that Y2K may happen, so he has ordered the family to stay together whilst he works to help fend off impending doom.
Scott delves into why she isn’t scared of the world ending and explains that when the time comes, it comes, and there is nothing we can do it about it. Her friend Finn (Paul Grabovac) is quickly introduced and presents the audience with a more scientific and factual notion of the world ending and begins proposing ideas on what history has taught us, and what we need do to ensure we don’t make the same mistakes.
The show energetically swings between the two characters and consequently two opposing views that are discourses in our society around how we treat our planet, the end of time, and the meaning of life. While Finn believes we need to start acting now to ensure the longevity of our planet, Scott believes no matter what we do, the end will come and it will always be too soon, and as such, we need to live as brightly as possible, while we can.
Through the more innocent and honest eyes of teenagers, Scott and Finn bounce ideas off each other, from crank notions about global warming, to hard science, to long-forgotten myths, and everything in between. Through these notions we are taken on dangerous boat rides, scientific experiments, passionate pleas, and a rattling reminder of the wonderful things our planet has produced. With this, a recipe is created that gives us a taste of the different connections humans have with their environment, and the life-long question – why are we here?
The show has some serious LOL moments, and it uses the quirky stage, lighting, sound and props exceptionally well, thanks to Joe Lui at the helm. McDonald and Grabovac bounce off each other like old pals and are both instantly likeable and relatable; they give funny, well-timed and affecting performances.
The delivery style is modern, with Scott and Finn both referencing the fact they are in a play and acknowledging the audience throughout; this adds a nice touch and makes it feel almost like you are at a Bill Nye show, especially as Finn uses simple props to demonstrate the effects of a warming climate and Finn and Scott fight over the audience’s attention. The educational and factual side of the show is balanced out with off-kilter writing, absurdist humour and outrageous performances that are absolutely infectious.
At times there feels like there is almost too much happening at once, there is so much to learn and note and process, that perhaps the show could have benefited from slowing down just a notch and allowing the audience to properly soak it all up.
You come away from the show being reminded that everyone looks at the world differently, and everyone has their own reasons for their realities and perceptions. It’s our job, as current planet-dwellers, to understand, appreciate and respect all of them.
The finest moment in the play comes when Scott creates the ‘golden record’ which is a record that captures everything bizarre and beautiful about this world. From Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5, the sounds of heartbeats falling in love, the writings of Kafka, ancient Egyptian myth, to YouTube makeup tutorials, road maps and errand running to-do lists. Scott paints a wonderful picture of our world; the madness, the kindness, the utterly brilliant, the nonsensical and the practical, and after summarising it all she says “when people come to this world after we have gone, and they see what filled our days, they will say to each other ….. fuck, these people knew how to live”
At this moment you are filled with a sense of pride and love for the craziness that is the human race and you are at once reinvigorated to live life fully – and also, environmentally consciously.
Tamagotchi Reset and Other Doomsdays runs at The Blue Room until July 8th. For tickets and more information, visit the Blue Room website here.