Conversations with Boring, Ugly People

A decent show is worth the price of a ticket and a bad show isn’t, but in the case of Conversations with Boring, Ugly People, I’d pay good money not to have to watch this exercise in pointlessness. With a title like that, you’d better be good, but unfortunately the ear-bleedingly abysmal script isn’t the slightest bit relevant or amusing. The cast may be young, but they aren’t so young that they can be forgiven for not having the good sense to run like hell the minute someone mentioned an interpretive dance number involving mobile phones.

The actors are certainly trying, but there’s not much that can be done with a script this achingly clichéd.

The writer of this show possibly learned about playwriting from watching PSA videos made to teach children not take drugs from strangers while crossing the street. Whole forests must have been destroyed to produce dialogue this wooden. The plot centres on a group of university students who talk and act like high schoolers and for some reason all work in an Amazon call centre located on their school campus, (please explain), while attending yoga classes and therapy sessions in their spare time. The message – oh, there’s a Message all right – is essentially: these damn kids with their iPhones and their Facebook and this Tweeter thing! They don’t know how to have real human relationships! Now get off my lawn! Dearest darling scriptwriter – your jokes about posting on Instagram are incredibly tired. They are exhausted. Put them to bed.

The actors are certainly trying, but there’s not much that can be done with a script this achingly clichéd. They at least should have protested against the dance number and lip-synching – preventing the opening musical sequence alone would have been a triumph for the arts. There are conversations worth having about the effect of technology on relationships, but this one has been had and had plenty. If you’re looking for a piece of theatre exploring communication technology, go find a production of Sarah Ruhl’s delightful play Dead Man’s Cell Phone. As for this show – it’s boring, it’s ugly, it’s horrible. Run like hell.

Reviews by Lauren Moreau

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The Blurb

Lost in a pop cultural landscape fraught with manufactured images, mediated conversations and misguided expectations, Matt is finding it hard to engage with real, everyday people. Can anyone be wonderful enough to compete with the fantasies we can now create?

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