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Crass, in your face and oh so funny, Pony is the pregnant tragicomedy you didn’t know your life was missing.
Hazel has been feeding her inner child well into adulthood; she knows how to grind to Ginuwine, makes fun of the names her friends give their babies, and should not be allowed to man the drinks station at a baby shower unless you want to see her puke in a bush. She’s the fun friend, but not the friend you can rely on in a crisis. When Hazel becomes pregnant, she tries to delude herself into thinking life can carry on the same as before – but of course it can’t. Hazel must overcome her self-centred attitude and learn some difficult lessons about friendship, family and growing up.
Writer Eloise Snape has constructed in Pony a compelling story that explores the unique complexities of being a woman in her late 30s that takes to extremes the existential crisis that comes from feeling like you’re at the now-or-never stage of having a child. We open to a shimmering blue wall, a giant pink carousel pony spinning on a gold stripper pole, and a single blonde woman dressed as a sparkly cowgirl, with a cheeky grin on her face. Briallen Clarke, playing Hazel, knows what she has in store for us and she’s excited. She interacts mischievously with the audience – clearly the stage is her domain. She tests our mettle with a few crude jokes, giving anyone who reacts loudly a sly side eye. We’re hooked.
But all is not the party it appears to be. Snape’s use of children’s songs, particularly Wheels on the Bus, makes an effective motif. Repetitions of ‘round and round’ continually remind the audience of Hazel’s pregnancy and communicating her fear of feeling trapped on this ride that she can never get off.
Clarke seamlessly switches from character to character, the delicacy of her tonal changes and choreographed movements with her stage partner the carousel horse making for a dynamic performance. Her transition from delusionally happy Hazel to internal crisis and withdrawal from the realities and responsibilities of adult life happens slowly, initially with bravado and later with humility, reflecting her bumpy personal growth journey.
It’s an outrageously funny show with a pure message at its heart. Enjoy, but don’t take your grandparents.
Purchase your ticket to Pony here.
Semillon Sauvignon Blanc | Wine Pairing
Hazel is your favourite aunty at every party, cracking jokes with the kids and never seen without a glass of wine in her hand (pre-pregnancy, of course). So, I’ve paired her with the classy wine for basic bitches – a semi sauv.
My Pick: Wild Ren Wines Semillon Sauvignon Blanc, Hunter Valley, NSW
A medium bodied semi-sauv with fresh tropical notes of melon and citrus, and a touch of honey. It’s light and fresh on the palate with a short finish. Drink at a baby shower, a hens, or at home, it’ll go down a treat.
Pony, Griffin Theatre Co | Tasting Notes
|Aussie Season||12 May to 17 June 2023, Griffin Theatre Company|
|Theatre Type & Genre||Play, tragicomedy|
|See it if you like||Fleabag, satire|
|Wine Pairing||Semillon Sauvignon Blanc|
|Criteria for Wine Pairing||light to medium body, fresh citrus and melon notes|