Review | Performers get personal in heartfelt ‘5.2’

5.2 | The Big Top | til Feb 13 | ★ ★ ★ 

I should have done my homework before I went into this show as I didn’t know the background story and was confused in the beginning by the premise (or lack thereof). Why did they fold laundry for so long? What will happen when they eventually get out of bed?

Anyway, I stuck with it and as the story developed and I became more engaged with the two extraordinary and charismatic performers, I began to enjoy it more.

The use of props and of the stage was really clever. They were funny and engaging, good dancers too! Watching a couple perform together is a precious thing, and it was lovely to see this care for each other and the unfailing sense of ‘I’ve got your back’.

The sign out the front of the Big Top said ‘mental health’ as a warning and I wasn’t sure what that would present as. It was subtle and gentle but the message was there – the heartwarming story of what these two went through a couple of years ago and the journey to recovery. I would have loved that to be fleshed out more.

A lot of time was spent building the leadup to the event and maybe the scene setting didn’t need to go on for as long, so the development of the recovery and the mental health aspect could have more space. Admittedly, I don’t know how that would be portrayed through the style of the performance but I think it would have been really valuable to explore.

Their circus feats are incredible and that was a joy to watch. It must have been incredibly challenging to put that show together as it is so personal. I felt honoured to witness it and left feeling proud of them and relieved that it went well.

See 5.2 until Sunday February 13. For tickets and more information, head to fringeworld.com.au

Dr Kerry Manera is a psychologist working for, with and within the queer community. She is also a musician and a parent. She loves to watch anything live and misses the drag queens of East London, where she used to live.

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