FRINGE REVIEW – God, Please Take Me Now

Screenshot 2024-02-18 at 6.18.00 pm

By Louise Pascale

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Trigger warning: show discusses suicide, trauma and abuse

Suicidal ideation is layered and complex and so is God, Please Take Me Now. In this one woman show Molly Dooner takes audiences on a journey inside her mind as she grapples with coming to terms with the ongoing mental health impacts of trauma and abuse.

Advertised as “a heartfelt and hilarious exploration of some of life’s darkest moments with courage, humour, and empowerment” I was at times not sure which part of that description I was watching. Showing at The Courtyard of Curiosities at the Migration Museum, The Gallery venue is a small and intimate room. Which is what you want when you are unpacking complex material like this.

Not afraid of a bit of dark humour I was happy to laugh along when, in cabaret style, Molly lists her traumas and mental health challenges. However I don’t think the audience felt they had permission to laugh along too.

Molly takes us on a journey where she wants to reset her contract with God and change her life. After being denied her request she needs to find the strength to go on. But finding that ‘girl power’ to pick yourself up and just get on with life is not easy when you are dealing with inner voices and insecurities.

When you are locked in a small venue like The Gallery don’t expect to hide easily, there is audience interactions and at times it seems farcical. But not in a cringing way it is more to demonstrate the absurdity behind the idea you should ‘just get over it’ when trauma and abuse comes back to haunt you.

This is theatre so it is hard to say whether this piece is based on Molly’s lived experience or someone else’s. There is no media release for us to know exactly. Either way this show does not sugar-coat the complexities of mental health challenges or use stigmatising language or concepts. In fact Molly playing her subconscious was actually educational. Overall though it is a lot to take in, in one hour.

God, Please Take Me Now is not a performance where Molly is trying to save anyone but leaving any redemption to the last ten minutes of the show when you are sharing harrowing statistics about suicide in Australia can make you feel dark once you do leave. But having said that, her lip sync performance of Bonnie Tyler’s Holding Out for a Hero with a bit of audience participation does put a smile on your face.

4 stars

To book tickets for this show go here.

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