Words by Lewis Brideson
Europe Won’t Fix You is an anti-finding-yourself story that rips through Eurotrip clichés and the struggles of twenty-somethings. Go for the premise, but stay for the endearing wit.
Presented by independent Sydney troop The General Public Theatre Company, this Fringe show is fittingly held at The German Club. It allows for audience members to knock back a tall glass of Weihenstephaner Hefe Weissbier and sad-chuckle about past travel misadventures and current debt, reflected on stage by a band of girls with one-way tickets abroad.
The show begins with a Matilda packing parody followed by a life-crisis safety briefing from the cabin crew before getting truly underway. The structure of the show is refreshing, with a series of soliloquies from five characters that poke the disparity between an Instagram-perfect European adventure and the real deal. Albeit dangerously ironic (going to Europe is a hard life…), this is done with the right amount of quirk. It flowed based on the strength of each piece with no need for over emphasized narrative or punch lines, held together by effective props, lighting and well-picked tunes (lookout for an on-point rendition of ‘Cry Baby').
Underlying the depressing ramblings about bowel movements, awkward sex, exes, clubs, drugs and UTIs (to name a few)… was an inherent joy from the actors performing and the crowd reminiscing. Sure, Europe Won’t Fix You runs the risk of only being funniest to those who have made the backpacking pilgrimage, but it was clever enough to swallow a range of travel stories and highlight the best quarter-life woes for all to relate to. It's the kind of humour you find retrospectively when looking back at a shit time, the sort you want to bitch about with your friends, where you laugh until you cry… or laugh because you’re crying?
Europe Won’t Fix You is a big tick on the itinerary for anybody spiralling through adulthood this Fringe season.