'Neon Tiger' is an endearing, beautiful love story that is interwoven with simple yet effective music, further magnifying the emotions being explored throughout.
Courtney Stewart and Lisa Hanley – as Arisa and Andy respectively – manage to hold the attention of La Boite's filled-to-capacity Roundhouse Theatre for a full 90 minutes, each presenting unique elements that bring their characters to life.
Constantly switching between narration and conversational dialogue is a little jarring at times, but as a concept it works. The audience is given an insight into each girl's mind as the story progresses and they learn more about each other.
The show tackles racism, romance, sexuality, terrorism and the uncertainty one can feel being far from home.
Image © Dylan Evans
Julia-Rose Lewis, Gillian Cosgriff and Kat Henry all deserve praise for the creation of 'Neon Tiger' solely for the writing. It's clever and witty, sad and thoughtful, and will no doubt spark post-show discussion as a result of the many things it addresses. There's depth to both women on stage even though we only know them for 90 minutes, and that's a great achievement.
The music is adorable. Lisa Hanley is a wonderful singer and 'Neon Tiger' is a musical thanks to her character's ambitions of entering the music industry, however it would have been great if both ladies performed. Nothing major is lacking because of this, but it is noticeable.
There's a particular lyric that has stuck with me since leaving the theatre: “My head has a map, but my heart wants to get lost”.
Image © Dylan Evans
'Neon Tiger' possesses a beauty that many standard love stories do not have. Without spoiling anything, there's relatability in the way the show ends and it's refreshing, again, to see this kind of writing in theatre.
Whether it's the depth of the characters or the way the story unfolds, 'Neon Tiger' is sure to appeal to a wide range of people. Courtney Stewart and Lisa Hanley are successful in portraying two very different women with their own quirks, and being the presenters of a very real story.
Forgetting a few 'opening night jitters' moments here and there, the writing of this show is wonderful and the wild applause at the end is a testament to not only the women on stage but everyone who made 'Neon Tiger' possible. Bravo and brava.