You Got Older

12 September 2016 | 4:33 pm | James Daniel

"Make no mistake, the acting in this production – directed by Brett Cousins – is absolutely amazing."

Clare Barron's tender comedy, receiving its Australian premiere in this Red Stitch production, is a play that actors will love. It's a text all about strong character development, but not so big on succinct or paced storytelling, and as a result, toes the line between engaging and indulgent.

Make no mistake, the acting in this production – directed by Brett Cousins – is absolutely amazing, led by the fantastic Emily Goddard in one of the best turns I've seen this year. I haven't been entirely impressed with the actors in Red Stitch shows this season, but You Got Older really highlights the founding principle of "Australia's leading ensemble theatre company": beautifully realised performances.

Unfortunately, the rest of this production failed to match the calibre of the acting. The set design, while ambitious, didn't have the budget or build skill to support the concept. It looked like it was thrown together last minute, which - because it was an interactive set - really detracted from the audience experience. The lighting design was similarly irksome, rarely working well with the set's colours, and thus failing to maintain consistency within its own design.

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With a run-time of more than two hours, this is a pretty demanding evening's entertainment, starting at eight and finishing at quarter to eleven. This isn't helped by this production's sluggish pace, which became so slow moving that I was droopy-eyed by the final few scenes. Despite this, stunning performances from the entire cast make this a show well worth your time - just have a coffee first.

Red Stitch Actors Theatre presents You Got Older to 2 Oct.