Reviews //

On the fringe

Peter Burrell-Sander (PBS) reviews Jetpack Theatre’s Brain Problem Situation (BPS) as part of the Sydney Fringe

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Brain Problem Situation, (henceforth BPS) was not what I was expecting when I ducked inside the entrance to Marrickville’s The Newsagency, but it was certainly unique enough to have me constantly on the edge of my pink cushion – you get to choose your preferred colour – waiting for whatever came next. To be fair, I don’t know what I was expecting, but what you get with BPS is a whirlwind of mysterious components that don’t quite seem to be anything in particular but remain absolutely engrossing.

Jim Fishwick’s impressive show for the Jetpack Theatre Collective is still for me hard to define. It’s not comedy or drama, it’s not quite improvisational theatre as I know it, but whatever it is, it’s brilliantly entertaining.

The Jetpack Theatre Collective is well known for curating interactive theatre experiences and experimenting with improvisation. Nonetheless, there was a lot more to BPS than basic improv. In fact, I often had the feeling that there was far more going on in the minds of the performers as they analysed our responses and adapted them into the show than we, the audience, were privy.

BPS is described as an intimate theatrical experience and I can attest to this without a doubt. There were fewer than a dozen of us and we interacted with each other, told anecdotes and grew to know each other more as the show went on. BPS is perhaps not an event for the very shy or the socially anxious, but that doesn’t mean it’s the kind of event where any one bombastic volunteer steals the show whatsoever.

Look, BPS is bizarre. It’s unusual, unexpected and its jolly good fun. I could tell you all about exactly what went down, but the mystery and suspense was an integral part of the experience for me. It’s a show where audience participation is a load-bearing pillar, but beyond that it’s devilishly difficult to pin down. Suffice to say that I thoroughly enjoyed my experience with the Jetpack Theatre Collective and I am sure you will too.

Find out more about the show here.