Courtney Rose Brown
Christine Brooks had a friendly charisma, which settled the audience who were already buzzing with anticipation of their object being called out and the possibilities of what others have written, as she introduced the concept. The Museum of Broken Relationships has a simple structure, beginning with a performer reading out an object then creating a scene based on it.
Scenes worked best when the objects were incorporated into the action as it provided a clear intention. At times this was forgotten and the performers did struggle. The establishment of a relationship, a problem or an intention are key to the structure of the show. Specific situations presented a ‘slice of life’ feel, which were more effective than vague insights into undefined relationships. When the ‘slice of life’ feeling was hit, instantly it was met with laughter, the audience leaning forward and applauding when a scene concluded.
Lori Leigh was a stand out performer. Leigh had great skill over language, and was easily able to establish the stakes in a scene, present clear character relationships and advance the action. She is a joy to watch.
Watching the show, I quickly became aware of the importance of chemistry between performers. Most performers clicked instantly, but it was obvious when they didn’t. There were a few instances where dialogues developed into a monologue and other member’s offers were blocked. This was done in attempts to achieve poetic language which dramatically halted the scene or was done in a way to ‘get laughs.’ However when this did occur, the other performers did their best to advance the action, either by yelling offers from the side, or by joining the scene. Eventually a groove was established and performers became more generous as the show progressed.
Clare Kerrison was a generous performer, her character of the enthused third party to a threesome quickly became a crowd favourite. Kerrison showed skill in knowing when to bring her back into a scene to advance the action and was able to match the tone expertly, without running in to steal the punchline.
When scenes worked it was enjoyable to revisit them to see how the relationship developed over time. A physical connection between the performers (although rarely done) helped aid the journey of the relationship and add an element of relatability. There were multiple times where I could hear audience members respond in understanding of a situation.
There were some beautiful moments established through physicality and cuddling. I would challenge the performers to go further with their emotions, to delve deeper into those moments of intimacy and to include more physical interactions. The show was enjoyable and fun, making light of situations. I would encourage future performers (if it is relaunched) to explore the darker sides and complexities of emotions relating to breakups as well.
Since The Museum of Broken Relationships can constantly evolve with audience offers, I wonder why they decided to have it on one night only. I would happily have watched another night of it and I’m sure the long list of those on the waitlist agree with me.