Review: Tainted Love • Glam Adelaide

Review: Tainted Love

Johnny Grim’s Tainted Love is a lightly comical play featuring middle age women tackling the rough road to divorce and beyond with the assistance of a few bottles of wine.

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Tainted-Love-Cast-Photo
Presented by Spotlight Theatre Company
Reviewed Thursday 21th June 2013

Johnny Grim’s Tainted Love is a lightly comical play featuring middle age women tackling the rough road to divorce and beyond with the assistance of a few bottles of wine.

Julie (Theresa Dolman) hasn’t seen her best mates Carol (Maxine Grubel), Sheila (Tina Cini) and Tess (Joanna Webb) for years so decides to invite them all over for a few drinks. The usual pleasantries initiate with the first glass, the well-loved jokes snap out, and compliments are given to Julie’s new, wonky gazebo. As the wine flows the gossip from their lives begins to spill out and Julie is harbouring the biggest revelation of the lot.

The first half of the performance is dedicated to introducing the girls, who have known each other since high school. Now, just over fifty years old, they talk about the lost time in their lives and how far they have actually come. They dance while reflecting on their time in the smoky discos and laugh at the misfortunes of others they grew up with, including their now ex-husbands.

Following intermission the true care in the girl’s friendship is exposed. The drinks are well and truly flowing as is their sass. There is nothing off limits as they come to terms with their lives.

The variety of the characters follows the usual recipe for a story centred around a group of friends: There’s Julie, the lead and apparently well-off one, her best friend, Carol, the emotionally distant one, Sheila, and the ditzy one, Tess. The actors bring these standard characters to a real and believable position. The humour matches each character while the audience peers into what British women are gossiping about when they are alone with each other. Director Tony Moore has selected a cast who match their intended characters in costume and presence, and he successfully uses the entirety of the space inside the Arch theatre.

The simple design of the set works nicely for the play. It is set in a single room for the length of the play with neat white lounges, a fire at one end and a small kitchen table at the other. Everything in the room is tidy and a statement of the life Julie is currently living in.

Overall, the play was wonderfully performed by the whole cast despite a couple stumbles on lines. Some of the lighting work, to create spotlight moments, broke the mood of the scene a little but the feeling of being in a suburban living room quickly returned once the entire room was lit again.

The mood of the play dances between gently comedic to heartfelt and back again. There is some room left in the script to further explore the psychological motives for someone seeking to leave a thirty-year marriage for no particular reason other than boredom.

Reviewed by Alex Dunkin

Venue: The Arch, Holden Street Theatres
Season: 20-22 & 26-29 June from 8.00pm
Duration: 2 hours
Tickets: $25, $18 concession
Bookings: VenueTix

 

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