ED2014 2/5 Reviews ED2014 Theatre Reviews

Tea Time Story (Ornamental Theatre)

By | Published on Sunday 17 August 2014

A haze of flour hangs in the air throughout Heather Lai’s tale of injustice in Mao-led China. Lai, writer and performer, uses the flour to scrape symbols on the floor and releases it in puffs at dramatic moments. The visual effect quickly wears off and everything performance, narrative and stage gets a bit messy. YingYing and Mulan meet and form a mother/daughter bond in the harsh conditions of a labour camp. Lai plays all the characters, leaving stilted pauses between lines as she switches from one character to another, flinging around a red scarf. There is little distinction between each character, no depth of emotion, and a clunky pace. The tale should be affecting, but is given no opportunity to have its effect.

Underbelly Cowgate, until 25 Aug.
tw rating 2/5 | [Tim Bano]