Interviewing Rosie Kellett and Jamie Jackson here, my sixth sense told me Primadonna was going to be right diva on the stage. I must refrain from sounding like the Snickers advert. This was my second theatre show with just a single leading lady so no pressure on Rosie at all!
Finding The Vaults with no help from Google Maps (achievement within itself), I walked through the underground jungle, dodged the crowds at the bar and waited to meet the prima donna herself *gold confetti included.
Watching Rosie Kellett dance and mime to Adele’s Hello, I knew Primadonna was going to be my sort of show. Before the performance started, Rosie drank wine on the stage, strutted around in her jumpsuit and fabulous white heeled sandals, and interacted with the audience as they settled into their seats. Bobbing her head to the tunes, she smiles “I love this song” to the crowds. Instantly creating this happy and chilled out vibe, the audience can immediately connect to Rosie before the lights dim.
Rosie has always been good at helping. From setting the table, to doing the weekly shop, organisation has always been her thing. Now she’s taken it to the next level, Rosie has become a PA. We see her navigate her way through impossible tasks, dietary requirements, travel itineraries, difficult conversations and a level of passive aggression that would put the Americans to shame. There’s glitter. There’s green juice. There’s colour coded post it notes. But above all, there is Rosie and she is here, to Personally Assist, you.
The set was like Ikea meets Hobbycraft. I smiled at the centred dipsy green chair and the creative touch of paper mache letters spelling “PRIMADONNA” on the wooden shelves. Previously working at Hobbycraft, customers always seemed to battle it out for the last remaining “A” so kudos to them.
Primadonna‘sset designer, Anna Reid, created a stage which reflected Rosie’s playful, ranting, imaginative, materialistic, animated, daring, open, nagging and natural art. It was a modern urban playground, waiting for Rosie to destruct and dominate the open space.
Throughout the performance, Rosie played the imitation game ridiculously well. She embodied her boss, her boss’ husband and child, childhood friends, fast food employees (with Australian and South African accents), bed specialists and mum. Using props to aid the imagination, I loved this one woman show with only a balloon(named Timmy)and a gym ball for company. Personally, comedy is a very sticky, messy and difficult trade in the world of theatre, but Rosie has the confidence and determination to pitch her amusing tale for an hour. With the audience on her side, her goal for audience participation was scored. Members of the audience helped many characters come to life, enabling Rosie to successfully smash the fourth wall into glittered smithereens.
From the lighting to sound, everything was in sync with Rosie. With a microphone and its stand, Rosie was able to pull out and narrate the scenes before jumping back into her acting performance. She became this comically timed yoyo, spinning the breakaway from normal life, the brain-scrambler of her telephone conversations with her boss and the two-handed loop of juggling PA duties. Being based on a true story, Rosie refused to name the mysterious identity of her famous celebrity boss. Respecting her decision to avoid a court case, it certainly would make a very juicy news story.
Thinking this performance was a massive rant at an old employer, Primadonna was beginning to feel dehydrated of emotion until Rosie received a shocking awakening. She electrocutes herself whilst fixing a light fixture. Enveloping everyone into darkness, the adrenaline rush halts and Rosie inserts a spark of vulnerability.
Phoning her boss for some TLC, she gets nothing but abuse for her stupidity. Clearly her boss hasn’t met me pouring water onto an electric fan. This moment forces Rosie to finally learn her lesson “Don’t be a people pleaser” and to remember the life she once had.
Primadonna has actually inspired me to rethink about my blogging lifestyle. Reviewing shows throughout the working week, I’m starting to drain relaxation and freedom out of my schedule. I’ll always love the theatre, but it’s important to learn how to balance theatre, work and just general life Primadonna has shown me these things can begin to dictate your life, sacrifice your health and simply kill the happiness from your talents and gifts. You know when you’ve seen a really good play when you analyse your reality …well Primadonna is that really good play.
Rosie has attitude to rip up any job’s welcome pack, stick two fingers up at the induction training and smack down the resignation letter onto the boss’ desk. Let’s face it – this girl has the balls to say ‘NO’ to our demanding bosses. Living in this tough economy, we’ve all worked those ‘convenient’ jobs. Sometimes, it’s for the money, ‘down the road’ location, waiting for the right opportunity or just simply lack the confidence to look for something else.
Primadonna ditches the goody two shoes for the converses and literally says “Hello from the other side“.