Theatre Review: Good People

Presented by Adelaide Repertory Theatre (aka The Rep)
Reviewed 3 September 2021

David Lindsay-Abaire’s script for Good People is wordy and at times this causes it to lose pace. Nick Fagan has presented this piece on a very well-planned set, designed by Brittany Daw with differing looks for the two acts. The split set in the first act works very well and reflects the surroundings that the principal character finds herself in. The second act is set in the upmarket home of the other main character and contrasts well. The changes are managed efficiently by stage manager Heather Jones and her crew. Richard Parkhill has done his usual excellent job on the lighting design.

I am probably alone here, but I don’t really like the play. I won’t argue with the fact that Lindsay-Abaire has a great reputation but this play failed to hold my interest. It was undoubtedly a good production with an excellent cast, but for me it did not appeal. Rachel Burfield did well, as Margaret Walsh, to maintain a difficult character for the entire span of the play when she is in every moment. Her scenes with Nicholas Bishop, who played Mike Dillon, are the brightest spot in the play while the emphasis jumps back and for between them. Bishop gives a well measured performance displaying the character’s many moods and feelings.

The other players were all believable: Curtis Shipley as Stevie, Margaret’s supervisor (who sacks her); Cate Rogers as Jean, her best friend; with Lynn Crowther doing especially well with her timing as Dottie, Margaret’s landlady (she had the best lines). Rhoda Sylvester as the wife only appeared in Act two but established her character well. She brought some life to her scenes with Burfield and Bishop.

As I stated early in this review I am not a fan of this script but I can appreciate a good production, something the Rep always manages.

Reviewed by Fran Edwards
Twitter: @franeds

Venue: Arts Theatre
Season: 2-11 June 2021
Duration: 2hrs
Tickets: $24 – $28

Bookings: Bookings at www.adelaiderep.com>/a>
8212 5777

Photo Credit: Richard Parkhill

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