In a festival where new works are encouraged and taking a risk is exciting, Mellow Yellow’s production of Reasons to be Pretty is a fairly uninteresting production.
Reasons to be Pretty focuses around the breakdown of two relationships. Steph (Steph Lee) and Greg (Jason Schwab) kick off the show fighting over a comment Greg made at work about Steph’s face being ‘regular”. Meanwhile Carly (Dayna Boase), the instigator of this argument, is unaware that her husband Kent (Sam Burns-Warr), Greg’s coworker, is cheating on her with a fellow coworker. By the end of the show, Steph, who is now engaged, and Greg have made peace with each other, while we presume the pregnant Carly has finally busted Kent cheating on her.
Director Mitch Hunt has pulled together a capable cast of performers. As Carly, Boase is the standout of the four and the vulnerability she brings into Act Two redeems her behavior in Act One. All four perform with American accents that, while pulled off quite reasonably, didn’t seem that necessary to get the message of the show across. The set and costumes are kept reasonably simple, allowing the focus to be kept on the performers, and clever use is made of the windows leading to a back room, which allows the cast a greater space to perform in.
It’s not that this is a bad show in any sense. It’s just that in a colourful and eclectic festival such as Melbourne Fringe, Reasons to be Pretty just doesn’t have the special quality needed to stand out and engage an audience.