by the Junior Drama class
*** WARNING: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS ***
In Term Four we went and saw a play called Astroman. It was in the Fairfax Theatre in the city. It was a grand play.
THE STORY: First, we meet a boy genius who hates school because he already knows everything. He’s got a twin brother called Sunny. They don’t really look alike. Later, we find out that Jimmy’s family had to move away from his father because Jimmy fired 72 nail gun rounds into the windows of a construction site, after he found out that the construction company messed with his father and fired him. Jimmy spends his time at the Astrocade (the arcade) in Geelong, the city where he now lives. The owner of the arcade is called …we can’t remember but he was an old dude. MR PAVLIS. That was his name. The play was about their friendship and it was great, we loved it. Jimmy has a rival called MJ who thinks he is Michael Jackson but his name is actually Mick Jones. He is a very, very mean person who bullies Jimmy and his brother for being Aboriginal.
Astroman was a love letter to the 80s. It tugged at your heartstrings. The set design was in a retro style. We enjoyed the flow of it and the story as well. With a lot of plays they tend to stick to a lot of things that get repetitive and boring but this play kept introducing new things and kept the watchers motivated. We loved the 80s arcade vibe with synthesised music and stuff. We enjoyed the TVs that were in the set design that were used as title screens and also to project live camera feeds from cameras hidden in the set. We also liked the feeling of what it looked like, it looked nice. Didn’t look crowded. The actors had good sections so they knew where they were, even if they were using one prop you could tell where they were in the story. For example when they went to the arcade they brought the games out and lit up the Astrocade sign. It was clever the way the actors moved the set pieces around.
It was surprisingly good. Some of us expected it to be like a normal, not-that-great play, kind of childish.
Cayden didn’t like not being able to see the play. Josh cried when Jimmy put the blanket over Mr Pavlis and tucked him in after he had fallen asleep in a chair; an arcade game was on and it shone over them like moonlight. Some of us didn’t like the mum but she came round in the end in terms of her personality. She became a bit nicer. We liked when one of the performers swore and the whole audience gasped. There was swearing and discussion around mental health and suicide… the concepts were too far out of range of primary school students, but it was still performed in a childish tone despite its adult themes. We think a recommended age would be 12-18yo.
To settle a fight, Jimmy makes a deal with MJ saying that whoever loses an arcade competition will leave the other one alone and wear a dress for the day. Jimmy wins the competition and then MJ goes and smashes up Mr Pavlis’ arcade with a cricket bat. He wasn’t a very smooth criminal. Mr Pavlis confronts MJ with a shotgun which sounds awful but actually it was really complicated and Mr Pavlis was sad and it was a scary situation but not traumatic. At the end, MJ changes his ways, like Michael Jackson suggests in his smash hit song Man in the Mirror. At the end of the play Jimmy gets a scholarship to an unidentified Melbourne school of engineering and he gets to see his father again after not being able to see him for a very long time.
10 out of 10. Would play again.