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In Between Moments - Shopfront Arts Co-Op (NSW)

Devised by Shopfront Arts Young Company 2023. Co-directed by Lauren Oakes and Nick Vagne.

Reviewed by Justin Clarke

Shopfront Arts Co-Op, Carlton

Until 2nd-5th November, 2023

- In Between Moments invites you to reflect on those moments in time that have slipped through your fingers -

I feel like I always start my reviews for Shopfront Arts Co-Op the same by saying “it’s a delight to be invited", but here I am yet again saying it. It’s a delight to be invited to see a Shopfront Arts Co-Op production! Shopfront Arts have their heads and hearts squarely focused on devising theatre made by young people, reflecting young people. They’re always unique and different and you just never know what’s going to happen beyond those doors in the magical realm we call The Black Box.

In Between Moments is the latest from the Young Company of 2023. Co-Directed by Lauren Oakes and Nick Vagne, the production features seven young artists who have devised a hilarious piece of theatre that is rich in both heart and art.

We find ourselves in a beloved park, most likely in the midst of a suburban area that’s quite quickly succumbing to gentrification. The last haven of the suburb is the park, a land where children revel in games of hide and seek with many, many rules to follow, where Duck lives, and where mischievous young ones scramble to save at least one slice of their childhood.

What I found most enjoyable about In Between Moments is how Oakes and Vagne have embedded humour that is entirely natural. The Young Company have a dry sense of humour and wit in one liners and some stellar comic timing to bring a sense of play into the entire piece. Particularly in Zoe Ong’s monologue about Duck and her desire to save said Duck's home before it undertakes a rampage on the entire city if it's destroyed. Think Godzilla but with feathers. Ong’s soft voice both instilled a sense of childlike innocence, but also brutally funny one liners and looks at the audience.

The rest of the performers, Aleida Toprak, Andres Sanchez, Clarine Halim, Febi Ardianto, Olivia Tagg and Robin Bedward each provided their own moments of joy. From Toprak’s clear and enunciated vocals, through to Sanchez’s screams of terror from the idea of his friend being abducted by a UFO.

In Between Moments invites you to reflect on those moments in time that have slipped through your fingers. How lucky would we be to hold onto them just for a few minutes longer? As for the Shopfront 2023 season, who knows what’s next to appear behind the doors of the Shopfront space? I hear it’s a musical from the Junior Ensemble!



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