Prolific fringe playwright and producer Tony Laumberg’s latest play ‘The Lucky One’ has played NIDA’s Parade theatre.This was a very different play from the playwrights’ previous productions, ‘Unsolicited Male’ and ‘The Great Divide’.
Both these plays were rich comedies, stemming from Laumberg’s legal background. Laumberg is a practicing solicitor, working in the eastern suburbs. This time the playwright has chosen a more dramatic and personal theme, the life and struggles of his late father, Max
Max was a miraculous survivor of the Nazi concentration camps. The story goes that when Tony was growing up his father told him that when he was more mature he would tell him about his experiences in the camps. Finally, with Tony in his early thirties, Max was ready to tell his story. And Tony was ready to hear out, with his tape recorder at the ready.
A memorable piece of oral history was being collected. Tony transcribed the tapes, and knew that at some time he would write something with them. After the success of his two plays Tony decided to write a play from the material. And so we come to the ‘The Lucky One’.
These were the things that stood out from ‘The Lucky One’…The wisecracking humour between father and son…also the tension between them as Max tried to make sure his son had a good start to life. A piece of dialogue stood out: Max wanted Tony to be a doctor. Tony’s reply,-‘well I was a stand-up comic, Dad at least I’m a lawyer now’.
Max’s journey was well portrayed. The audience was swept away with Max’s torturous war journey. Every time that he seemed to be finally free from his situation he would be entrapped again. He truly was lucky to have survived.
A scene that stood out was the one depicting how his parents got married. During the Holocaust there was such a sense of danger that people could only think of living one day at a time. There were many Holocaust weddings, instant weddings because people did not know whether they would be around tomorrow. Such was the marriage of his parents.
The two performances by David Ritchie and Scott Agius were excellent.
‘The Lucky One’ was a very personal, touching night at the theatre, and one felt honoured to be part of it.