Theatre Review: The Theatrical Threesome Part III
Theatre Review: The Theatrical Threesome Part III

Theatre Review: The Theatrical Threesome Part III

Venture Theatre Company presents their third anthology of one-Act plays: Bang You’re Dead, That Might Work, and No Strings Attached.

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Theatre Review: The Theatrical Threesome Part III
Presented by Venture Theatre Company
Reviewed 28 March 2014

One-act plays are a challenging endeavour for theatre companies and even the most veteran of actors, having a short amount of time to deliver some carefully crafted characters, plot, and entertainment. Venture Theatre Company has accepted the challenge with their production of The Theatrical Threesome: Part III, their third compilation of one-Act plays: Bang You’re Dead (written by Paul Reakes), That Might Work (Jaye Toetu), and No Strings Attached (Bo Anderson).

Directed by Lucy Marshallsay and David Giles, Bang You’re Dead is a hasty farce telling the story of the not-so-happily married Spinks, Theo (Colin Grace) and Lydia (Jessica Ramsay), the opportunistic spinster Miss Amelia Trim (Susan Cherry) and the elusive Marcus Harwood (Kyle Hopgood). The clever plot makes good use of its relatively short stage time to flesh out an inventive conflict and resolution.

Grace and Ramsay show-off some witty on-stage chemistry (or rather, lack thereof) with some entertaining physical comedy. Cherry is an absolute natural, with a flair for her pragmatic-perfect interactions and snappy line delivery. Hopgood does well in his representation of the dual natures of his character, but needs to be cautious with the speed and volume of his lines. There’s a fine line between escalated, loud tension, and bellowing.

Writer/director Jaye Toetu delivers his homegrown delight That Might Work, a fly-on-the-wall style insight into a theatre company’s committee meeting to plan the next musical production. In this play, the committee members are the actors playing themselves (Luke Wagner, Shelley Carman, Ramsay, and Marshallsay).

This was, without a doubt, the most entertaining and enjoyable production of the night, with seamless transitions from heated discussions to bold show tunes and musical hits. Ramsay again displays her naturally fabulous physical comedy and line delivery, and is a hilarious foil to Carman. Marshallsay is pitch-perfect, and together with Ramsay, delivers an amazing rendition of Popular from the hit musical Wicked (amongst other numbers). Not a beat or syllable is missed, which is admirable if you know the song well.

Wrapping up the threesome is No Strings Attached, directed by Luke Wagner and Nicolle Smith. It’s an intelligent and intricate plot that juxtaposes the shame and guilt of an inter-office affair between a teacher and his support officer (Hopgood and Adriana Allman) against the remorse and regret of an unsettled children’s television show performer and her overly committed production assistant (Nicole Phillipson and Verka McSherry).

Wagner and Smith excel in delivering some powerful messages about staying true to yourself and living to your own expectations rather than other’s. Philipson’s somber disillusionment is impressive and, paired with McSherry, delivers the most gritty and realistic acting of the night. McSherry is marvelous, especially at maintaining her character when the focus has shifted to another (no small feat). The actors needed more swiftness in their transition between the television show and the morning after scene, to maintain the illusion that two different scenes are coalescing.

Well-earned kudos to the talented and hardworking ensemble.

Reviewed by Nathan Giaccio

Venue: Trinity Hall, William Road, Christies Beach
Season: 4-5 April 2014
Duration: 2 hours (with intervals)
Tickets: $12 – $15

 

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