Theatre Review: Emily

Fantastically performed, a pure joy to watch

Presented by Galleon Theatre Group

Reviewed 22 October 2021

Galleon Theatre Group has been entertaining audiences for over fifty years in South Australia and their talented troupe has once again delivered with Stephen Metcalfe’s Emily. Brilliantly performed, it stars Jess Carroll as the lead role.

Directed by Warren McKenzie, this light-hearted look on love, singlehood, and success focuses on the relationship between prestigious stockbroker Emily, and John, a farm boy from Minnesota who waits tables whilst trying to land acting roles.

With Stephen Bills as John, the pair both bring credit to their roles. As they amusingly debate their outlooks on life and the definition of success, it is only Emily’s family and friends that are seen in the play. It is obvious she has had a privileged life since birth and the story, she makes playfully clear, is all about her.

Carroll’s voice, postures, gestures, and facials all perfect the princess she is. With an excellent remaining cast, her stockbroking friends all do a fine job of supporting the superficial life that she lives, with daddy (Andrew Horwood) always available to save her. Horwood performs a number of roles in the play, seamlessly transforming each time.

The four male stockbrokers are Christian Dewar as Stein, Adam Schultz as Fields, Josh Van’t Padje as McCarthy, and Aled Proeve as Hill. Their flawed comradery feels very real, and they continually try to give advice about her ‘situation’, always whilst drunk.

Hallie, played by Leanne Robinson, is Emily’s counterpart, the two being the only female stockbrokers in the firm. Although they actively talk about success and love, Hallie doesn’t try to sway Emily to stay or leave. This contrasts with her mother, Deirdre, hilariously bought to life by Therese Hornby.

The stage production and audio of this set deserve a mention. Emily is a dialogue heavy play with several monologues, yet Carroll’s voice with its prima donna intonations was always audible and clear. At no time throughout was the background noise of any scene, such as the music in a restaurant, interfering.

The Galleon Theatre Group received a nomination for Best Comedy in the Adelaide Theatre Guide Awards 2014 for their last Metcalfe play Loves and Hours and Emily, of the same standard, is a pure joy to watch.

Reviewed by Rebecca Wu

Venue:  Domain Theatre, Marion Cultural Centre
Season:  23rd-30th October 2021
Duration:  2 hours with interval
Tickets:  $23 – $27.00
Bookings:  All Tickets must be prepurchased
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