Gendered generalisations

Run Girl Run (Grit Theatre)

Theatre Republic, La Boite Studio

September 9 – 13

A show performed virtually entirely from treadmills… sounds like an absurd, interesting premise. Despite the best of intentions, however, “Run Girl Run”, fails to capitalise on this initial intrigue. And rather than realising its promise of exploring how gender roles are expressed in modern Australia, the hour-long sketch presents only generalisations.

The show begins with performers Tom Browne, Laura Hughes and Clare Philips strolling as they engage in everyday chatter about Instafod aesthetics, Allen keys and the dilf on The Block (think about it). “Should be talk about footy”, “should we talk about cars” they prompt as they chug cans of VB, apply deodorant and become increasingly aggressive and crass in their tone. It’s an exaggerated but familiar image because it is a stereotypical one.

Run Girl Run

A couple of beers later and the trio is starting afresh, this time sipping champagne as they dress in low cut dresses, don blonde wigs and high heels, and apply fake-tan and makeup. They talk shallowly about hair and shoes and all things ‘girlie’, increasing their treadmill speed until collapse.

This is not to say that show is without its humour. Tom Browne, in particular, delivers an energetic performance in his camp observations and reactions. And the trio’s everyday conversation is quite witty with some wonderfully humourous moments.

“Run Girl Run” tries hard to stand out with its unconventional premise, however, the result is somewhat underwhelming. ‘Why are they doing this?’ the confused audience member beside me asked. What could I say? I didn’t know either.

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