This is the world premiere of a witty, sparkling, delicious comedy from the pen of Melvyn Morrow..
Under Elaine Hudson’s excellent direction the play, full of incisive one liners, is fast paced with the actors swiftly moving between scenes. The two cast members perform with pizzazz and there is a good chemistry between them.
The set by Allan Walpole was in three parts, with a church like atmosphere overall, the two outer sides pulpit like, the main middle section with its lights proclaiming Last Orders Bar and Bistro. The arches for the two side areas act as windows and allowed for very atmospheric lighting. Scene changes (church to racecourse to restaurant and more) were often indicated by changing a prop on the bar – for example, flowers, or a silver teapot, an Islander statue, or a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Musically, the soundscape as devised by Glenn Amer, included convent bells, hymn music and some Gilbert and Sullivan.
Morrow’s play envisions two interesting characters – Arthur, a shonky property developer and Thelma, the last nun of her order – and places them in a situation which offers maximum potential for conflict.
Scenes are divided and feature ironic voice-overs like saying a rosary, for example the second mystery of light. There are many complicated twists, but to say more would spoil the fun.
Many people might wonder what on earth led such an intelligent and attractive woman choose to become a nun, who then ends up becoming the Superior of her order? And what happens when, over time, her order dies out and she’s left, as it were, holding the fort?! Arthur meanwhile has his major construction group. Can they do a deal?!
The performers, Taylor Owynns and Joseph Taylor, play their parts well with both characters struggling with their faith.
As Arthur, the Queensland property developer, Taylor comes across at first as a rather slimy Ocker and more than a bit off-putting, and as Sister Thelma, Owyns, in her traditional nun’s garb and has a very still, quiet, warm yet powerfully charismatic presence.
Both performers get to deliver strong monologues. Warning – in this show, appearances are deceptive, are they really who they say they are?
This play was fun, a delightful rom-com, which was also moving and thought provoking and one that the audience greatly enjoyed .
Running time 90 mins no interval.
Melvyn Morrow’s ACT OF FAITH is playing the King Street Theatre, corner King and Bray streets, Newtown until the 4th August, 2017.