Travels With JB

Travels With JB

Travel news and reviews

Comedy and the impact of a toxic relationship are not often combined in the same play.

Megan Scolyer-Gray (Frankie) and Isabella Patane (Bec) star in Teeth and Tonic playing at La Mama Courthouse.*

Megan Scolyer-Gray’s play Teeth and Tonic does just that. And judging by the reaction of the crowd at the opening night of the show at Melbourne’s La Mama’s Courthouse Theatre she has the mix just right.

Described as a queer feminist play, Teeth and Tonic tells of the adventures of flatmates Frankie (Scolyer-Gray) and Bec (Isabella Patane). The two have a great friendship and are on a similar wavelength.

However, Frankie can’t understand what Bec sees in her rather unpleasant and misogynistic boyfriend Matt (Joey Phyland). After hearing how Matt speaks to Bec neither can the audience!

Joey Phyland (Matt), Megan Scolyer-Gray (Frankie) and Isabella Patane (Bec).*

After Bec finally breaks up with Matt she has to deal with his increasingly bizarre and dangerous actions which culminate in Matt breaking into their flat.

This results in a nearly deadly outcome which is further complicated by the arrival of Liam (John Mondelo), who has a crush on Frankie and another friend referred to as Orange Juice Person (Bugs Baschera), as a result of a drug-related incident.

Most of the comedy comes from the interaction between the two flat mates and their reactions to their belief they have committed a murder.

John Mondelo (Liam) and Bugs Baschera (Orange Juice Person).*

At the same time there’s also a very serious side to Teeth and Tonic as such issues as the reasons for, and impact of, a destructive relationship, the power of the privileged and lack of support for abuse victims are explored.

According to Scolyer-Gray she wrote the play due to a belief that although familiar, it’s a story that isn’t often told.

“I wanted to write something that would make people feel seen, heard and validated and that showed the intricacies of a toxic relationship and how that begins,” she explained.

“I also wanted to highlight just how important positive relationships and friendships are in driving growth and creating community and support.”

Megan Scolyer-Gray (Frankie) and Isabella Patane (Bec).*

The 80-minute play initially played to sell-out crowds at the 2022 Melbourne Fringe Festival. The reaction of the audience on opening night suggests similar success this time around thanks to the performance of the cast and the mix of humour and the exploration of a serious societal issue.

Teeth and Tonic is playing at La Mama Courthouse until March 28. Visit the La Mama website for more information and tickets.

*Photo credit: Darren Gill.

Jenny Burns attended opening night of Teeth and Tonic as a guest of the producers.


Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Subscribe My Newsletter
Subscribe to my e-mail newsletter to receive updates.
We respect your privacy.
Unsubscribe at any time.