Hysteria – Broad-WHAT? Reviews Blog
Please note that this production includes discussion and depiction of sexual violence. If you are affected by the issues in tonight’s performance, VictimLinkBC is a toll-free, confidential, multilingual telephone service available across British Columbia 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-563-0808
Ryan: We were lucky to see a piece of HYSTERIA in last years Fringe For All. Seeing the team of Hysteria work so closely together to incorporate contemporary concerns and issues with a nostalgic and relatable piece of media was instantly gratifying and enticing. Their choice of vignette for Fringe For All 2018 was the perfect preview for Fringes-goers. This expert craftsmanship was echoed throughout the 2019 production of Hysteria by the Direct Theatre Collective. The incredible display of human emotion was extremely appreciated as an audience member.
Natalie: It was a privilege to get to spend 80 minutes exploring the discourse of consent and survivor narratives. The strong ensemble of cast members in this production was complemented by impressive and meticulous direction brought by former ensemble members Lauren Martin (she/her) and Ariel Martz-Oberlander (she/her). It was clear that the co-direction welcomed and facilitated a seamless transition into the 2019 production, which welcomed three new voices to Hysteria’s raw narrative and clever call-outs.
The wit and intelligence of the creative team was consistent and clear through the main plot, while featuring personal stories contributed by the cast. As you’re brought into an eerie multi-media reflection of what could come from our foray into technology and conversations about consent, there are very few moments that ostracise the audience from the action on stage. Again, hats off to all involved in the delicate assembly of hard-hitting content, comedy, music, and media with the intimate Havana stage. Hysteria explores our current socio-political climate in a futuristic (but not far-off) technological landscape, where consent is exchanged and monitored through an app. The assimilation of familiar platforms, such as online dating and virtual assistants, was extremely well thought out and utilized throughout the performances. Where voiceovers can sometimes seem out of place and unnecessary, the interactions in Hysteria were welcome and flattering.
R: The emotional arc that Jill Raymond (she/her) went through was gut wrenching and vulnerable, and her strong storytelling at the forefront was a success. Furthermore, Florence Reiher’s (she/her) comedic rhetoric was duly timed and thought provoking. Her musical talents (she contributed some music and lyrics herself) gave the audience time to reflect and process the humour and open the gates to further conversation.
Hysteria gives you the incredible opportunity to sit down and ask yourself where you stand as an ally. As a queer man myself, I’ve had many conversations with my female identifying friends and felt anger at not being able to fix the present norm. To quote the show, “anger is not a productive emotion”. They’re right, it’s not. Upon reflection, as a cis man, it’s my job to stand up and ask my fellow men to buy a ticket and continue the conversation.
N: I truly appreciated each and every moment of this piece. It was a modern Vagina Monologues x Black Mirror. The time, energy, and vulnerability poured into Hysteria by every artist is evident in every story, vignette, and musical interlude. I found myself rolling my eyes in agreeance, shooting my eyebrows up in empathy, and laughing at the relatability playing out before me. As a cis gendered woman, the exploration of consent within relationships was particularly relatable. On more than one occasion, I was nodding in agreeance and identifying times in my life where either identical if not similar situations had unfolded. I applaud the efforts and vulnerability of the cast, crew, and creators to assemble these narratives, and ignite the discourse surrounding them. This conversation needs to continue, and I am grateful to this production for doing so in such a perfectly crafted way. Anyone who missed the 2018 version needs to see the 2019, and those who haven’t seen the show at all, get there, be there, and join the conversation.
R: Every person, of every gender identifying category needs to head down to the Havana theatre and see Hysteria. This thought provoking piece of art had something for everyone. It was powerful, insightful and raw. The story telling done by the five powerful humans in the small intimate black box theatre was ultimately the selling feature of the piece.
You can catch hysteria at the Havana Theatre which runs for one more week at 8pm. Follow Direct Theatre Collective on social media to purchase your ticket, or follow the links below:
Hysteria Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/2188526761440001/
Direct link to tickets: https://www.showpass.com/s/events/all/hysteria/?dates=Any+Date&fbclid=IwAR1j4QGfAz92dYZmCjlZTtWEmBIMVeDXbGUFmiuNUZKywPiylh7jLB2-PTI