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  • Writer's pictureAlex First

Secrets (The Butterfly Club) - 60 minutes

Updated: Jul 14, 2022

Just how good are you at keeping secrets?

If you hear something juicy, do you immediately rush off to tell your partner or best friend, or do you keep it to yourself?

Let’s face it, secrets by their very nature are tantalising and, at times, it feels good to share them with someone.

The five actors in the play Secrets, an original work created by Sancia Robinson and Nick Steain, have secrets tumbling out of the mouths at the rate of knots.

Photos by Liliana Braumberger

They simply can’t hold back in what is an action-packed hour of revelation and entertainment.

What they articulate is distressing, shameful, salacious and funny.

You never know what is going to come pouring from their mouths next.

Usually, it is just one of them on stage at a time, but not always … and certainly not at the start or end, when all five appear at once.

It almost appears like a case of one upmanship. Who can tell the most disturbing, bodacious or hilarious story? A quick costume change and they are at it again.

They shock, surprise and delight. Thirty secrets in all, some told in a few minutes, others in but seconds.

What makes this so much more compelling is that all the secrets are real, as told to the writers and relayed verbatim.

Abuse, sexual escapades, a lack of human connection, medical conditions and procedures, drinking and drugs all get a look in.

So too depression, addiction, the long arm of the law, debt, love and loss.

In reeling off the list, I have barely referenced the half of it.

All five actors – who include the two creators, Yiana Pandelis, Zach Blampied and Susanna Qian – are talented, but two in particular stand out.

Nick Steain is one seriously riotous dude. His energetic characterisations are electrifying and rib tickling.

Just when we think that alone is strictly his forte, he takes a U-turn in a heart-wrenching monologue.

Susanna Qian has the heaviest workload. Whenever she is on stage, she is mesmerising. She has real audience connection and brings authenticity to her performance.

A lot is crammed into an hour (there is no pausing for breath) and in that time we span the gamut of emotions.

I thoroughly enjoyed Secrets, directed by Ben Grant. I found it innovative and engaging.

Perhaps these dab hands could next turn their attention to lies – from tiny fibs to outright deceit? Ah, just imagine the further theatrical possibilities in that.

In the meantime, Secrets is playing at The Butterfly Club until 16th July, 2022.


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