BEST BEFORE REVIEW
Sydney Fringe Festival | September 2017
Review: 'Best Before' 9 Sep 2017 | Edgewise Team
While the clear mission of Sydney Fringe Festival is to foster the work of emerging artists, the opportunity that it provides audiences to experience fresh and unique works is vastly under-appreciated.
Best Before is just such a work. The debut of emerging theatre collective The Bird Cartel, it tackles the darkly topical issue a female ‘expiry’. More than just a ticking biological clock, Best Before dramatises this countdown literally, as a predetermined progression of milestones, inevitably leading toward marriage, and later, the nursery.
Grimly satirical, Best Before is direct and engaging, wasting little time before delving into a deconstruction of its themes. Though some minor motivational inconsistencies at times mute the clarity of the show’s message, these and other minor mid-performances mishaps are quickly driven from the mind by the strength of The Bird Cartel as performers. A tightly knit ensemble, Beth McMullen, Jessica Saras and Gemme Scoble bring a fittingly dark bite to the piece, whilst also imbuing it with the wry humour it requires to truly fly. Though each praise-worthy in their own right, it is Gemma Scoble who impresses most, donning mask after mask in a demanding multi-character track.