Public Toilets, Private Words
by Melynda von Wayward
Reviewed on Fri, 04/04/2014 - 12:44pm
Melynda von Wayward Total Reviews: 36
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Public Toilets, Private Words
Comedy Review by Lisa Romeo

What: Public Toilets, Private Words
Melbourne International Comedy Festival
Where: La Mama Theatre
When April 2 ‚?? April 13
Directed by: Daniel Czech
Devised by: Caitlin Armstrong, Eloise Maree, Thomas Albert, Daniel Czech
Performed by: Caitlin Armstrong, Eloise Maree, Thomas Albert
Designed by: Jennifer Bismire
Lighting Designer: Timothy Gawne

Public Toilets, Private Words is a clever concept designed by using the graffiti found on public toilet walls. One might ask; is it toilet humor? The answer is: certainly not, not by a long shot; it is an outrageously entertaining comedy with a whole lot more.

Set in the toilet cubicles of a nightclub, the stage displays toilet seats, toilet rolls and accessories, as well as movable walls on wheels. All of these are used as props and incorporated into each routine. The lighting is superb in bringing you into the sleazy scenes of nightclubs and cabaret.

Caitlin Armstrong, Eloise Maree and Thomas Albert are a trio of professionals, and throughout Public Toilets, Private Words they display much of their expertise in the art of singing, dancing, comedy and acting; plus they play a variety of musical instruments, from the ukulele to the guitar and the piano accordion.

So much talent is combined together in this show, which is captivating from beginning to end, while the performers each have a chance to shine, and shine brightly they all do. They bring to the audience a variety of characters with their love triangles, drama and passion, as well as an abundance of joviality.

Complimented by a great selection of raunchy nightclub music, with contemporary dance, a little cabaret, and even a touch of Swan Lake, the performers bring to life a diverse range of themes and snapshots of events. Obscure as the concept is, a story of humanity can be found behind the graffiti, whether it be loneliness, sorrow, wit, cruelty or desire.

The show is equally full of purpose and meaning as it is funny. Hidden messages of racism, environmental issues as well as alcohol and drug abuse are all touched upon. It is moving and insightful but also delivered with a subtleness that does not deviate the audience away from the comedy. Bold, highly skilled and a little naughty, Public Toilets, Private Words is an unforgettable experience.

5 Stars

Eloise Maree was selected for the 2011 National Writer‚??s Studio (NSW) for emerging playwrights.

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