FRINGEWORLD 2017 – Alone Outside (5 stars)

Review by Laura Money

Have you ever seen a piece of theatre so palpably brilliant that you can’t get it out of our head days later? If you haven’t, go and see Alone Outside and get back to me. This play is so genuine and touching, it will hit you with all the feels. Blending nostalgia, storytelling and phenomenal acting, Alone Outside breaks down the barriers we shield ourselves with, brings us home, and grounds us in the comfort that we really aren’t alone, despite feeling it so acutely at times.

Jo Morris is a woman from a country town who got away. She escaped to the city, to a more glamorous life. Well, now she’s going home. Morris is amazing in this work. I have seen her in several plays and she’s always good, but there’s something about this role that just clicks. Morris is laid back, casual, and funny, yet underneath is an anxiety that seems to be bubbling just under the surface. The set is simple – it consists of two backless chairs. That’s it. But that’s all it takes – Morris moves them into different configurations to create the environment required at each point of the story. This adds weight to the play as a powerful piece of writing – it hearkens back to listening to people’s stories around a campfire – all they have is themselves and their evocative language to manifest a scene before your eyes.

It all starts with the car journey home – well, home is a problematic term here as we see later that Morris is reluctant to commit to home being the country town she left. It’s genuinely hilarious – upon returning and heading straight to the pub, she bumps into people she knew from school. Morris’s delivery is flawless here, she narrates and takes on the characters, eyes widening at the revelation that these school friends lives differ greatly from hers. Despite being funny, Liz Newell‘s script gets close to the bone when Morris visits Martha – her elderly grandmother surrogate, and Aiden her best friend growing up. There are wonderfully tender and gut-wrenching moments as Morris faces her true fears and finally acknowledges her deepest feelings.

I cannot emphasise enough how well-written this play is. Every word is thought out, it ranges from hilarious to hurtful, catty to calming, and everything in between. With a script like this, there is the potential for it to sound read, however Jo Morris delivers every word straight from the heart. Alone Outside is storytelling at its best.


When: 7th – 11th February 2017 | 6:00pm

Where: The Blue Room Theatre | Fringe Central | PERTH

Tickets: $21 – $26

Info: Duration 60 minutes | Suitable 15+ | WA Artist