Has it ever occurred to you that running a marathon while standing in the same spot is slightly absurd? It’s only as absurd as paying to pick up a heavy object and put it down again … Then pick it up again … and put it down again. If you’re not training for Olympic gold then why do so many of us put ourselves through it?

Circuit currently showing at the Old Fitzroy Theatre is the new play from The Oligarchs and Sydney Independent Theatre Company. It is a hilarious satire of contemporary gym culture exposing our fascination with fitness and the psychological role it plays in society. How does it do this? Through a series of well-developed and brutally-funny characters.

Meet Darcy (Grace De Morgan), the derailed yoga teacher who runs her classes with cigarette in mouth and utters ramblings of her failed relationships and alcoholic tendencies. Occasionally she diverts attention away from self and tells her students to clean their sickeningly murky auras. Then there’s Kelly (Anika Herbert) a young woman plagued by hallucinations of Jane Fonda and her own desperate attempts to reach cardio peak.

Janine (Aimee Timmins) is a co-dependent Zumba fanatic, who speaks at the speed of light and is forever waiting for her friends to turn up so that they can pay her class fees. Adam (Sean Corcoran) is a slight young gay man, who’s hoping that extra muscle mass might help him navigate the singles’ scene and Joel (Michael Drysdale) is a chameleon gym salesman, who’ll be anything you want him to be, as long as you sign the dotted line. On the treadmill, you’ll find Justin (Tom Mesker) who’s trying to overcome his heartbreak by controlling his heart rate.

Through their monologues, these characters reveal poignant truths about body image insecurity and our need to feel loved and successful. If you’ve ever attempted to push the world down by doing a push-up or tried to run your way into a new relationship, Circuit is a far more pleasant way to boost your serotonin levels.

3/5 stars


The Old Fitzroy is presenting Circuit until June 29.

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