Setting wise, the BATS Studio was just right. The smaller stage backdrops the minimalist props well and allows Kelly as Anna to engage with her audience effectively. At the start, some over-enthusiasm from friends and supporters in the audience was a little distracting until everyone became more caught up in the events on stage.
While the play is billed as a mostly solo performance, it throws a curveball about half way through. This comes with the manifestation in adult-sized part human, part rabbit form of a previous toy rabbit from Anna's childhood. His task, among piles of shredded childhood thoughts, is to either get her audition skills to the point of being a contender or to persuade her to pack it all in. The “rabbit” role is played by Jake Brown, whose entrance was dramatically heralded by means of a music-laced blackout. From here, it is definitely a two person show. And to be fair, Brown gives the play some added momentum at just the right time. Initially, Brown's entrance provides such a shockwave I wondered if the play was about to plunge into the bizarre or semi-bizarre at least. I needn't have been concerned. While initially, Brown threatened to dominate the performance, as the play evolves, the pair complement each other to perfection. At times in conflict at others in harmony, the dialogue between the two continue at pace as Anna claws her way towards a (hopefully) triumphant audition. For me, it was from here to the close that the play really took off sending a delighted audience, myself included, out into the night just a little before 8.30 pm.
Albeit still not knowing if Anna nails the part she is auditioning for. If Fringe watchers want an early evening performance to spill them out into the city's streets with plenty to reflect on round dining room tables or grouped on bar stools, then Imposter Child would serve well. It is different and yes, a little off beat. But it is also innovative and well performed and just what the Fringe is all about.
Imposter Child continues nightly at Bats Studio until Monday 11 March inclusive. Start time is 7.30pm. To book tickets or for more information about other Fringe shows over the remainder of the festival visit the NZ Fringe website.