Lucy and Sphenn are the best of friends. They go on endless adventures together from long rides in the sunshine to breeding puppies to sailing away to Mexico to sell ice cream. Most of all Sphenn and Lucy want to be famous for absolutely anything at all. It’s Lucy’s hair-brained plans for fame, though, that land the pair in a fair amount of trouble.
Co-written by director Jennifer Anne Laycock and performer Nicolas Angelosanto, Lucy & Me is a silly performance of friendship between a young German boy and his bright red bicycle. The plot flows through Lucy and Sphenn’s many debacles with interludes of letters the pair write to each other, reminders of their close bond, and a single oddly erotic group exercise class. It’s a good thing Sphenn and Lucy have each other, because they have a tendency to put other people off-side, developing rivalries with other young boys and tense relations with the police.
Angelosanto is a committed performer, striving to stay abreast of the energy in the room with a quirky characterisation and gangly physicality. While Sphenn is supposed to be a little boy, he has a decidedly mature interest in sexual deviancy with glancing references to child abuse and rape in the Catholic Church and innuendo about his own relationships with younger boys. At the same time, Lucy brings out Sphenn’s violent nature, resulting in the shooting death of more than one policeman during the performance.
Where Lucy & Me works best is in the moments devoid of shock value. A particular example was Angelosanto’s innovative use of his knee as a puppet through which he told Sphenn’s origin story and how he came to know Lucy as a child. This simple silliness and interest in unusual storytelling methods was the strength of the production overall.
As a solo piece, Lucy & Me is an ambitious bit of fun that perhaps gets too caught up in cheap laughs and discomforting juxtapositions.
Lucy & Me is running at the Factory Theatre from September 25th – 28th as part of the Sydney Comedy Fringe