Osner enters with a song in which he repeatedly exclaims “don’t label me.” Though rather violent in description of what’ll happen if you dare try, this song perfectly encapsulates the notion that we’re each an individual, so a single generalising label cannot capture a lifetime of experiences, feelings and actions.
Osner’s performance is all about encouraging his audience to go after the things they yearn for
Rather than label, it’s better to get to know a person for their own self, their complications, contradictions and true being. In this show Osner sets out to give his audience a real insight into his own character, using a slew of personalities of his own creation. Each comes with their own accent and song and, though not all of them are successful, they each lend a certain charm to the overall performance.
Scattered between character introductions is discussion of various aspects of Osner’s life. His insights are rather lovely, as he explains how he went from working full-time to part-time in order to make way for his true passion, performance. His life story is rather inspiring and cements the theme of the show: yearnings. Osner’s performance is all about encouraging his audience to go after the things they yearn for. This theme relates in well to every character he showcases, making this a truly cohesive show.
Osner’s first character is the least engaging: inspired by Osner’s teenage years this character essentially whines about being perpetually friend-zoned by the various women in his life. The character’s seeming disregard for women is arresting, but ultimately the song really reveals the teenage character’s own cowardice and feelings of emasculation, as he questions his attractiveness and insecurities. This personality’s blues-inspired song is very catchy, and the American accent adopted for the performance was very good. Osner’s fallen Irish arch-angel comes next, and he’s quirky and fun, with an excellent joke to round off his song. The character of the rich man in his 70’s spins a brilliant yarn that truly captures the audience’s attention, and the song “There’s only me to love” is very clever and an excellent listen.
But of all his characters the most arresting by far is Osner’s Vampire Prince. While the earlier characters are written well enough, Osner doesn’t seem to exude much power through them, his performances at times seeming a little lacklustre, with the right words said but in far too soft a tone. From the moment he puts in the Prince’s fangs, however, Osner is transformed and finds new confidence. His voice is stronger and his movements are slicker. I could have watched an entire show based on this character alone, and perhaps will be able to if Osner gets the funding for his film.
All in all, this is an interesting and insightful show that, with some more polish and punch, could be truly excellent.