Sometimes a little love story that involves useless superpowers, unexpected pizza, and monkey puppets is just what you need to have a good time. Writer / producer / performer / graphic designer Shane Adamczak’s Trampoline is offbeat and refreshing, jam-packed with laughs, and just a bit touching.
The story is simple enough, if somewhat abstract. Matt’s vivid dreams make it difficult to tell fiction from reality, so his therapist tells him to keep a dream journal. This all goes fine until he meets the new girl across the road with a trampoline, Kelly. Their awkward relationship helps him discover what is real and worth waking up for.
Despite the bizarre concept, Damon Lockwood’s direction keeps the performance feeling fluid and real, and most of the characters are believable. Shane Adamczak would have needed a dozen energy drinks to perfect the frantic, socially-inept Matt; his performance is beyond intense. Amanda Woodhams acts as both the therapist and Kelly; however, it’s as the quirky girl-next-door that her talent really shows.
Ben Russell portrays everyone else, and does it fantastically. From the pizza guy to the semi-helpful cousin, he changes from one character to another, often quite rapidly, and never once falters. He makes his presence known every time he’s on stage and doesn’t fail to leave the audience in stitches. And he has the best cowboy voice I’ve ever come across.
The stage design is minimalistic, with the few props including, not surprisingly, a trampoline, while the costume changes are frequent and effectively simple. Michael de Grussa’s impeccable sound design is always appropriately atmospheric, whether that is wildly funny or moving. The great score and use of live guitar music is easily one of the performance’s highlights.
The only confusion I had was wondering how old the characters were. I began the performance believing they were high school students; by the end I decided they were closer to early twenties. This might be a reflection on the dialogue trying to demonstrate socially-awkward characters.
Whimsical doesn’t even begin to describe Trampoline. Shane Adamczak’s writing is so close to life, whilst being just a little bit strange, that it makes for enjoyable theatre. Trampoline is nothing less than great fun and worth a look if you’re in the mood for an upbeat comedy with some touching themes.