Underbelly Cowgate – Big Belly
Aug 8-13, 15-26
Pickle jar is the one-woman show of Maddie Rice, who was recently on tour with the show Fleabag. For the most part its a Miranda-style monologue of a school teacher who is awkward, a bit crazy and just trying to get down with the kids.
Step aside from this and you get a much darker story telling the tale of a death and rape much more reminiscent of 13 reasons why than Miranda. It’s a back and forth story which delves into a couple of months in the very dramatic story of the teacher’s life. From the cutesy moments describing her relationships with fellow teachers and acquaintances, there’s a very adorable innocence about the stories, leaving a broad smile on your face.
The message is clear, it tackles rape and suicide in a way you are more prone to seeing on an episode of Casualty rather than a comedy show. Often Maddie would brilliantly act out other characters in the storyline, with fantastic acting, she can easily do the job of a cast of 10. I really don’t think the smile left my face once during the comedy and was impressed by Maddie’s stamina and dedication to the characters she portrayed.
I started to question whether or not, as a male, I could relate to her stories of woman struggles, but you know what I did. The characters she portrayed each had a familiarity to them like the story happened in any school in any town.
The show left a lot unanswered however It was funny, creative and a real new level of brilliance for Maddie Rice.