Dinner is waiting. Come with an open heart and mind to the resplendent, heavily laden table. This production by bAKEHOUSE Theatre company is superb, beautifully crafted, written and acted by a largish, strong cast of twelve and is sensitively directed by Suzanne Millar.
Be warned, this production is quite intense and divisive and features explosive inter-generational and racist remarks and quarrels.
This is Anne Frank’s story, told through her diaries. It makes for tough reading, or more to the point tough viewing, in the current New Theatre production of the 1955 stage adaptation by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett.
Sam Thomas’ eloquent revival brings her painful and sad story to life. Tragically, Anne lived her last few years with her family in hiding, never knowing if, in the next moment, they will be discovered and transferred to a death camp.
Outdoor music festivals in Sydney have enjoyed, on average, a history of eight to ten years. The Renaissance Players presented, by impressive contrast, its staggering 36th ‘Runnymede Pop Festival’ recently. Their tradition of reviving and celebrating early music continued formidably, combining several elements of festival entertainment.
These features included an engagingly bright stage set and an informative, attractively designed program guide for festival goers. The Renaissance Players made a hauntingly effective entrance from the rear of the venue. They were summoned to the stage by ancient woodwind and led by Jessica O’Donoghue’s focussed ‘Sa Sibilla’ chant concerning the Day of Judgement.
Henry Crowley is a prominent Sydney CBD lawyer. Pompous and pragmatic, he lives with his wife, Margaret, in the safe, conservative suburb of St. Ives.
Henry, unaware of his wife’s previous job with ASIO, is also unaware that it is Margaret who wears the trousers in their marriage. She announces, over several martinis, that she has decided to take in an Iranian refugee from an Indonesian boat, awaiting the outcome of his asylum application, and introduces Ahmed Zahedi, a mathematics professor with a penchant for the theatrical.
Ahmed has already moved in, much to Henry’s horror, particularly as Henry is being interviewed for a feature article by a ruthless journalist from the Financial Review, Rhonda Harper. Before Rhonda arrives at their home, Henry’s cousin from Queensland, Micky Crowley, also arrives at their usually tranquil doorstep. Micky is a harmless, but obnoxious chronic gambler, badly dressed in shorts and thongs.
This is a wonderful entrée into a very effective comedy of errors. The actors all bring fresh and funny idiosyncrasies to their characters. Mark McCann is particularly enjoyable as bombastic Henry, Tricia Youlden brings great comic timing to her calm and controlling Margaret. Geoff Sirmai plays a quirky, eccentric Ahmed, Marc Kay brings vulnerability to a reckless and clumsy Micky and Brigid O’Sullivan is fabulous as the scheming journalist Rhonda.
This play is the 13th collaboration between writer Tony Laumberg and director Richard Cotter. Ten of these have been the well-known ‘Lawyer’ comedies, which have developed quite a cult following, particularly amongst Sydney’s theatre-going legal fraternity. Laumberg is not only a talented writer, but has a legal practice in his spare time! The play is well written and highly enjoyable under the clever direction of Cotter. What impressed me about the play is the lack of racism and clichés. The humour is inoffensive to all the characters that are represented, bringing a sense of balance to the comedy.
THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE LAWYER plays the Tap Gallery, Darlinghurst, from Thursday 10th October to Sunday 27th October.
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