Have you ever got that feeling of frustration when watching a TV show or a play, when the characters make bad decisions or could resolve their problems if they just talked to each other? When watching Kat Rose-Martin’s
This show would be completely pointless if not for the fact that it would make for a great PSA for the importance of contraception
When Olivia (Charlotte Ellis), her sister Kim (Natalie Davies) and best friend Alisha (Sonia Wrightson) are impregnated by the same man, their friendship and lives are put to the test as the girls deal with issues of contraception, sexuality and teenage pregnancy. This show falls prey to the problems of high school drama classes; a play that takes serious issues and uses them as a dog whistle to increase the drama onstage while only giving surface-level attention to it. In this particular instance, it creates frustrating observations and realities like the fact that Olivia is meant to be underage, but nobody seems to care that the 19-year-old in the situation - Jordan (Morgan Scriven), who knew she was underage - basically assaulted her because she technically isn’t able to consent, but she is blamed for the encounter and not him. It all goes downhill from this point.
Pick N' Mix appears childish from the start, with a quaint mundanity that slowly spirals into unnecessary and difficult-to-watch drama. It is Rose-Martin’s script that is the crux of the problem, to the point where it appears that every scene is trying to contain more angst and drama than the last. The characters themselves are unbearable, especially the three girls who devolve into catty behaviour and throw away their long-standing relationships with one another over a guy. It’s just unpleasant to watch. This show appears like it's going to be a quirky, coming-of-age comedy, but it tackles its issues in such a way that they have to appear trivial (which they are not)for the plot and the script not to suffer and become nothing short of infuriating. The ‘tell not show’ nature of the play is inherent in Alex Chisholm’s direction, in that opportunities to make the show more interesting through the use of theatre tech are missed. Madi Omatseone’s pastel design and set suggests that this show will be a lot more light-hearted than it actually is. The multiple uses of the three crates, however, is clever and leads to incredibly smooth scene transitions that allow the rest of the show to keep its momentum.
A show that most definitely doesn't pass the Bechdel test, Pick N’ Mix is an unbearably pro-life soap opera, except live on stage which unfortunately means you can’t switch to a different channel when it comes on. This show would be completely pointless if not for the fact that it would make for a great PSA for the importance of contraception.