On a few occasions cast members refer to their low budget, adding the cavitat ‘It’s Fringe after all’ These comments drew me out of the world of the play - suddenly we were back at a Fringe Festival show, not an overpriced workshop hosted by St Joseph's primary.
Audience interaction is beautifully handled. Because it’s a workshop you do need significant amounts of interaction to be believable, but you don’t want the audience to feel uncomfortable, or for the show to lose direction. Using simple audience prompts, and well planned jokes that work no matter the audience response is very effective, and results in some big laughs.
Some of the best scenes are those where Sara and Jordan show a bit of their humanity under all that arrogance. Jordan practices showing humility in an attempt to be more likeable, and ends up revealing insecurities, how he never feels good enough and lives in Sara’s shadow. Sara hates hosting parties, afraid they won’t meet others expectations, and bends over backwards to accommodate others. These are feelings we can all relate to, and gave the show some heart alongside the laughs.
I did feel that the show's conclusion wasn’t quite worthy of the rest of the show. The scenes where Sara and Jordan’s characters reveal their insecurities leads me to believe we are building towards some heartfelt pathos. However Sara and Jordan decide they don’t like feeling vulnerable and, they end up opting to try a different way to chase fame and fortune without doing any work. To me, it seemed that this ending was chosen to be funny, rather than to support any particular theme or message. This isn’t a crime, it is a comedy show, and the ending is very funny. But the show was so close to being something more than just funny, and I wish they had pushed to convey a message alongside making us laugh.
The show also ends with Sara and Jordan offstage. Their tech, Bethany Miller reads an email about their exploits, then starts to pack up the stage. While Sara and Jordan did interact with Bethany throughout the show, we didn’t really know her as a character. Compared to the banter and spark between Sara and Jordan, a mostly unknown character reading off a piece of paper was a bit of an energetic fizzle, and this show deserved to finish with a bang.
Sara and Jordan Aren't Supposed To Be Here is exactly what a comedy should be, funny, engaging, and the leads have great chemistry. More clarity on the message they want to convey would take this show from very good to great. I am excited to see what Sara and Jordan do next.
Sara and Jordan Aren't Supposed To Be Here is on at The PowWow room at 6pm until the 17th of March.