The play starts with Oscar enjoying a cards night with his friends. This is a mens only club and they behave in a very relaxed and slovenly way. They are one man down.
Late in the night Oscar receives a call to say that his friend Felix has been thrown out of his house by his wife and is roaming the street like a lost soul. The group ate very worried about him, knowing what a sensitive soul he is. They conspire, in the event that Felix comes to the door, to pretend to know nothing about Felix’s drama. Continue reading THE ODD COUPLE : WHEN OPPOSITES CLASH, GREAT COMEDY ENSUES→
Presented by Ensemble, DREAM HOME is the latest offering from David Williamson. Someone I met at the show compared Williamson’s comedies to seventies sitcoms: funny, if a little predictable and out of date. I have to admit, that was a perfect description, all the play needed was a laugh track.
The premise of a young couple buying their first apartment in Sydney is promising, but some of the antics that follow are what you would expect: neighbours from hell starting petty disputes over car spaces, and frisky neighbours who are looking for a little on the side. Paul (Guy Edmonds) and his pregnant wife Dana (HaiHa Le) are barely settled in their new home when the other residents of the apartment block come knocking, much to their annoyance. When one neighbour leaves, another quickly takes their place, with the couple never getting a moment to themselves.
“It is in everyone’s nature to try and protect yourself and the people you love, but I think taken to the absolute extreme, that can be quite isolating, counterproductive and even dangerous. Ayckbourn has done a brilliant job in exploring that theme in a hilarious play. It is so funny and so dry and I think it’s one of his best works.” Anna Crawford, Director, NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH
A well crafted cautionary tale which catches audiences ‘on the hop’, often not knowing whether to laugh or to cry, awaits theatre patrons who make their way across you to Kirribilli’s waterfront Ensemble Theatre.
It is one thing for brother and sister pair Martin and Hilda to start up a Neighbourhood Watch group after an unpleasant incident takes place shortly after they move in to the plush new Bluebell Hill housing estate which is unfortunately situated close to a Council estate, populated by some less than charming individuals.
It is something altogether more bizarre, after tensions escalate between the group and riff raff from the council estate, that a mere fortnight after the Neighbourhood Watch group’s first meeting, Bluebill Hill has become a full-on gated community with security fences and armed patrols. The committee members, no longer believing in the ability of the police to enforce security, have taken the matter into their own hands and become their own erstwhile vigilante group.
It is a dark world that Ayckbourn shows us, where people’s small mindedness and pettiness dominate. Anna Crawford’s production, (the play had its world premiere in Scarborough in the UK in September, 2011),serves this incisive play well. Designer Amanda McNamara and lighting man Peter Neufeld set up the play’s world well, and Crawford wins strong performances from a good cast.
Brian Meegan and Fiona Press play the leads, Martin and Hilda, a rather precious, conservative pairing who get rattled far too easily.
Bill Young and Jamie Oxenbould have the most colourful roles ,playing ‘headcases’ former security guard Ron and unemployed engineer Gareth who almost take a para-military approach to the escalating conflict.
Douglas Hansell plays the menacing, volcanic Luther. Lizzie Mitchell gives a touching performance as Luther’s mistreated, fragile wife, Magda.
Olivia Pigeot performs the role of the promiscuous, sharp witted Amy- unfaithful wife to Gareth- with verve, as does veteran performer Gillian Axtell who plays Bluebell Hill gossip queen, Dorothy.
Recommended, the Australian premiere production of NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH opened at the Ensemble Theatre, 78 McDougall Street, Kirribilli, on Wednesday 18th December and runs until Saturday 24th January, 2014.
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