A girls’ night out heads into freefall

FREEFALL – Into the Psyche of a Girls’ Night Out
Melbourne Fringe Festival
Directed by:Milly Cooper and Kitan Petkovski
Featuring: Ellen Grimshaw, Sophia Simmons, Alli Whitmore, Olive Asi and Natalie Shinners.
Where: The Burrow, Fitzroy
When: Finishes tonight
Rating: ★★★★

REVIEW
By SHONA LOUIS

In FREEFALL’s examination of Melbourne’s nightclub culture, five women pack the highs and lows of a night out into 60 minutes.

Directed by Milly Cooper and Kitan Petkovski, FREEFALL takes place in an intimate Fitzroy venue, The Burrow.

Cooper says FREEFALLis about “the hunt for euphoria and the need to go out and just experience the night in order to get yourself to a particular place”.

The theme of this year’s Melbourne Fringe Festival was “games we play – how we play them, where we play them, who gets to make the rules and most importantly, how we can break them.”

FREEFALL is about the space in which we break rules and in order to break rules, we need to know them.

The ensemble takes us through the monotony of scripted customer service jobs, the ritualistic planning of a night out, the dressing up, the pre-drinks and the Uber ride.

Rules of social phenomena are defined urban dictionary-style with words like “hanxiety” (hangover/anxiety) and “flirdering” (flirting with the bartender/ordering drinks).

The weakest bout of storytelling is when the pointed symbolism of a hair tie to illustrate self-confidence becomes more teenage diary entry than poignant social commentary.

Most other moments of social commentary are far from preachy and are resonant takes on common female experiences.

FREEFALL’s ramped up social absurdities are funny and, most importantly, authentic.

Joyfully campy characters Kookoo and Delicatessen Dolly are intoxicated by escapism more so than any consumable substance.

Peppered with high-energy monologues, FREEFALL demonstrates the range of its performers.

They can be intense and delightfully unhinged, before breaking back into the story, instilling checkpoints of catharsis.

FREEFALL successfully draws you into the psychological uncapping of a night out – and all the fun and terrors that come with it.