Theatre Review: The Graduate

The original film from 1967 is still well known. Based on the 1963 novel by Chares Webb, Mike Nichols film captured the 60s perfectly. The play by Terry Johnson attempts to recreate this story. Matt Byrne has brought us another new production, continuing his efforts to introduce fresh plays to Adelaide.

By

Presented by Matt Byrne Media with ORIGINTM
Reviewed 11 October 2018

The original film from 1967 is still well known. Based on the 1963 novel by Chares Webb, Mike Nichols film captured the 60s perfectly. The play by Terry Johnson attempts to recreate this story. Matt Byrne has brought us another new production, continuing his efforts to introduce fresh plays to Adelaide.

Byrne directs this production and also appears as Mr Robinson, the husband of Mrs Robinson the original ‘cougar’. Playing his wife, Niki Martin is consistent and believable. Neither Martin nor director Byrne shy away from the nude scene, which is tastefully lit, although I am not sure that full frontal was necessary. Nathan Quadrio is an earnest Benjamin Braddock, newly graduated and unsure of himself and his future. His character is well maintained and reacts well with Martin. The extended bedroom scene was a little over the top but in character.

Hannah Tulip gives a lovely performance as Elaine, the Robinson’s daughter and Benjamin’s love interest. She is vulnerable and tentative, making a beautiful contrast to the mother. Timothy Cousins is Mr Braddock and both he and Byrne shout most of their lines making them often unintelligible. Both are supposed to be brash but the level of their voices does not aid understanding. Heather Riley is believable as Benjamin’s mother and is a good foil to Cousins. The other actors provide decent support and many act as crew as well.

The set created a reasonable picture, conjuring the 60’s but was often cumbersome and led to long scene changes while large pieces were moved around. The screen at the rear of the set was pointless as the setting of the scenes was fairly obvious from the dialogue.

Matt Byrne Media should be congratulated for continuing to bring new works to our theatres and The Graduate is well worth a look with some great performances and a very listenable sound track featuring lots of Simon and Garfunkel music.

Reviewed by Fran Edwards
Twitter: @franeds

Venue: Holden Street Theatre
Season: 11-27 October 2018
Duration: 2.5 hr
Tickets: Adult $30 Conc $25
Bookings: 8262 4906, www.mattbyrnemedia.com.au, 8225 8888 or holdenstreettheatres.com.

 

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