Stage

#DearDiary review (Melbourne Fringe Festival)

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Andi Snelling comes with baggage: the stage at the Butterfly Club is covered in pyramids of suitcases and at the start of #DearDiary she climbs out of a big trunk. An assiduous diary keeper from her childhood on, she reads from the earliest entries, through teen sexual experimentation described in sharp-eyed detail to alienation in London and Berlin and a personal/family crisis where the language fills with extreme metaphors.
In between there are some songs and a #askDiary quiz section. The writing is well-judged: she presents her former self (or selves) humorously, but without seeming too self-mocking, but then the tenderness doesn’t come across as too self-absorbed either.
#DearDiary is a performance, not therapy in disguise. At an hour the show seemed too short, in fact, and could easily take another twenty minutes or even half an hour: Snelling has so much material to draw on, and is so skilled at getting the audience onside, that you’re left wanting more.
[box]#DearDiary is on at the Butterfly Club until September 25.[/box]

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