By Ella Arendelle. The Butterfly Club, Melbourne. March 4 – 9, 2019.

Wellness is part of the One Act Play Festival currently on at the Butterfly Club.

Ella Arendelle along with her fellow cast members offer a series of comical vignettes that explore body image. The stories appear improvised and centre on fragments of daily life where polite people are confronted by situations that cause them to behave in ways, so as to not appear offensive.   

Arendelle is the central figure and is clearly a full-bodied woman; comfortable in her own skin, she uses performance as a personal cathartic exploration. Along with her collaborators Kashmira, Ryan Stewart and Brendan McFarlane, she addresses and scrutinizes issues of mindful eating, overeating, food and eating as a means of communicating and together they attempt to mock human behavior.

The everyday eating scenarios connect with audience, whether it be the thin girl describing her eating habits to an overweight friend; a guy on a lunch break eating his sandwich texting appeasing messages to his girlfriend about her weight, or the annoying friend who keeps shoving popcorn in your face at the cinema.

A low-key production directed by George Lazaris, Wellness can be at times confronting but is an honest tackling of issues related to eating behaviours and the stigma associated with being overweight.

Flora Georgiou

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