FRINGEWORLD: Labels (5 stars)

Review by Amanda Lancaster

“Always read the label, and use only as directed”

The use of labels is so commonplace in the daily communications and navigation of absolutely everything around us that we often take for granted exactly what it is that those labels are really saying beneath the surface.

In society we are lead to believe that the theory of labelling and grouping things together is to better enable us to cognitively process the signals of the world around us – what something is, what we call it, where it belongs, if it’s out of place, is it safe….is it dangerous… why?

This is a level of enquiry that Joe Sellman–Leava has already well and truly immersed himself into. Carried out with incredible warmth and depth, Sellman-Leava offers a seamless performance that switches between both  intimate personal stories and large scale social and political narratives to illustrate just how our inner defence measures can create such a stigmatisation between one another.

It is hard to describe in more detail the show’s facets  without giving away some of its compositional harmony  and flow. Oh, and of course now there are those newly formed and inquisitive thoughts concerning whether or not I myself and my reaction are to be considered falling into the pattern of labelling?

At its simplest Labels is insightful, witty, charming, and most of all powerfully thought provoking. A beautifully put together discussion about the act of labelling, our participation in this act and  the blurring of ideas that  create such a distance between curiosity an fear?

I would consider this show an absolute must see for anyone who would rather not see themselves and the world around them become little more than a walking disclaimer.

When: 2 – 6 February 2016 (7:30pm)

Where: Blue Room Theatre, PERTH

Tickets: $18 – $25

Info: Duration 60 minutes, Suitable 15+


Fringeworld –

Blue Room Theatre –