‘Pieces of Shit’ // Bronte Charlotte

‘Pieces of Shit’ was gutsy.

‘Pieces of Shit’ is a daring and thought-provoking performance that takes a deep dive into the complexities of human relationships and the impact of past traumas on our present lives. Presented at the Pip Theatre in Milton, the show was a captivating display of talent and creativity. Written and performed by Bronte Charlotte and Leigh Scully, the show was a compelling and intense story of confronting our buried pasts.

‘Pieces of Shit’ follows the lives of two characters who are seemingly disconnected with wildly opposite lives and backgrounds. As the story unfolds, the audience gets to know the characters and their struggles with their pasts as their childhood traumas continue to play out in their adulthood. The show delves into how our childhoods play out in our adult lives in the form of attachment styles, fears, and dysfunctional families. The performances in “Pieces of Shit” were top-notch, with Bronte Charlotte and Leigh Scully delivering powerful and authentic performances that truly brought the story to life. The characters felt real and relatable, with moments of vulnerability that were haunting and harrowing. The duo’s chemistry was evident, and they connected well with the crowd, holding tension throughout the performance.

Bronte Charlotte, who played Phil, did an excellent job of crafting a bubbly, fun, vibrant, and relatable character. Their performance was both haunting and harrowing during the character’s moments of vulnerability and grappling with the want for intimacy and connection while being simultaneously afraid of it. Charlotte’s performance felt raw and affecting, especially during the more heartbreaking scenes. It’s easy to go over the top with these kinds of mental breakdown scenes, but they were very careful not to veer into melodrama. Charlotte’s performance was characterised by an effortless charisma and an undeniable stage presence. She was able to seamlessly transition between moments of levity and moments of profound vulnerability, creating a complex and relatable character that audiences couldn’t help but root for.

Leigh Scully, who played Dylan, embodied the “nice guy” stereotype with remarkable nuance. Their performance was marked by an unassuming sincerity that made it impossible not to empathise with Dylan’s struggles. It was impressive how they were able to balance Dylan’s inherent likability with the character’s more flawed aspects, creating a nuanced and believable portrayal that was as heartwarming as it was heartbreaking. Scully’s performance carefully gained audience sympathies without seeming pathetic with monologues that were delivered with a genuine tone. The second half of the performance was when Scully really shone in their portrayal of the internal struggle of feeling betrayed when the person you’ve been idolising is revealed as a villain.

The set design was minimalist yet impactful, with a bare bathroom serving as the backdrop for the performance. The use of a typically private interior space that is now open and on public display added to the story’s rawness and stripped-back nature. The lighting was jarring at times, yet poetic, with moments of intense breakdowns framed in tight, shrinking spotlights that beautifully added to the claustrophobic and isolating feeling of heartbreak and betrayal. The music in the show was a mixed bag, with some funny renditions of sit-com jingles and harrowing, almost atmospheric interludes during the darker scenes. Although perhaps too loud at times, the music added to the story’s overall impact, highlighting the mood and tension in each moment.

Although confronting at times, ‘Pieces of Shit’ is a must-see performance that artfully delves into the complexities of human relationships and the impact of past traumas on our present lives. The show’s exploration of attachment styles, coping mechanisms, and the anguish of heartbreak truly resonated with the audience, leaving them with much to reflect on long after the show had ended. With outstanding performances and clever storytelling, albeit controversial, the show was an entertaining display of creativity and talent.

‘Pieces of Shit’ performed until April 29, 2023 at PIP Theatre. For more information visit their website.

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