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REVIEW: "Big Yikes" at Brisbane Powerhouse by Playlab Theatre

A Millennial Reflection on the Turbulent Transition to Adulthood


Millennials and Gen Z assemble because this is the show for us! ‘Big Yikes,’ presented by Playlab Theatre at the Brisbane Powerhouse and penned by the insightful Madeleine Border, delved into the chaotic realm of post-high school existence with unfiltered honesty. The audience was mix of young adults, and as the show began, a sense familiarity immediately washed over me.


Juliette Milne's portrayal of Loxie, the protagonist navigating the daunting journey from adolescence to adulthood, was anchored by her unwavering commitment to the character. Despite initially feeling intimidated by the prospect of remaining onstage throughout the entire production, Milne expressed much excitement at the opportunity to originate a character in an new Australian production.


The laughter that constantly rippled through the theatre was both cathartic and validating. As Loxie stumbles through her first job as a kitchen hand at a café – also my first job – her mishaps, from spilled drinks to burnt coffee and panic attacks, left me nodding in recognition. Even if those specific incidents don't resonate with you, fear not. Loxie's journey also encompasses struggles with navigating social interactions, dealing with demanding customers, complexities of divorced parents, encountering fake friends, coping with stressed-out supervisors, anxiety from university decisions, getting drunk on $5 wine, late-night calls to mum for a ride home, enduring conversations with overly talkative strangers on public transport, and the awkward apologies following romantic rejections – a collective "YIKES!" moment indeed.


Amid Loxie's tumultuous journey, 'Big Yikes' masterfully weaves relatable moments and profound insights. From the realisation that “not everyone is gonna like you, and vice versa,” to the humorous musings of “I don’t have time for domestic duties anymore, I’m a working girl!” — each line serves as an illustration reflecting the nuances of modern life, including the cost-of-living struggles. But as Loxie grapples with the complexities of adulting, she encounters wisdom in unexpected places too — “I’m going to find my calling, by not finding my calling,” a reflective reminder that growth often arises from discomfort. 


The versatile trio of Billy Fogarty, Tenielle Plunkett, and Christopher Paton, comprising the supporting cast, seamlessly shifted between roles, bringing a kaleidoscope of characters to life. Their interactions with Loxie underscored the multifaceted nature of young adulthood, where every encounter can shape our journey of self-discovery.

The uncomplicated set design, paired with innovative projections and lighting techniques, provided a dynamic backdrop for Loxie's story. Scenes transitioned smoothly; enhanced by witty lines projected onto the set, such as 'If you can’t afford medication… try meditation.’


The Q&A session following the performance offered insight into the creative genesis of the production. Playwright Madeleine Border shared her inspiration behind the play, citing the noticeable absence of representation for the daunting transition from high school to university within the realm of theatre. Notably, 'Big Yikes' demonstrated a commendable commitment to inclusivity. Gender-neutral characters, names, and pronouns were intentionally integrated into the storyline. This approach ensured that the production resonated with a diverse audience, amplifying its impact and relevance.

In essence, ‘Big Yikes’ serves as a mirror reflecting the joys and tribulations of modern youth. With its blend of humour, heart, and authenticity, it invites audiences to laugh, reflect, and empathise with the universal journey of growing up.


BOOK NOW: Ticket Link


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