Presented by St Jude’s Players Inc.
Reviewed 8 August 2019
It was a welcome change to see a play not only written by an Adelaide playwright but also set here. Andrew Bovell’s play follows the (mis) fortunes and emotional ties and tangles between members of the Price family living in Hallett Cove.
Director Geoff Brittain’s production beautifully captures the poignancy of the parents when the immense investment in their children, with hopes for better futures, falls apart. Their father Bob, wonderfully played by Tim Williams, has been made redundant from his car assembly line work, while wife Fran is still working as a nurse. Nicole Rutty’s immense talent is on display in her portrayal of this dominant mother who is the central support of the family.
We meet the baby of the family first, Rosie, sad and forlorn in Berlin after being dumped by a guy she foolishly fell in love with – after only 3 days. Zanny Edhouse’s performance is engaging and we come to care about her distress and confusion as she recounts her trip to Europe ‘to find herself’. Of course her mother sees through her reasons for coming home early and immediately tells all the family Rosie has been hurt by a boy.
The personalities of the characters are quickly revealed through their behaviours as they all come to welcome Rosie home. Son Ben, can’t stay for a celebratory dinner – he’s too busy in his high powered job. Joshua Coldwell gave a sterling performance with just the right note of disdain for his father’s outdated ideas about making money and spending it. His volte face towards at the end of the play is thus all the more effective.
Eldest daughter Pip, whose meticulous portrayal by Cheryl Douglas would have rung all too true for many working mothers in the audience, is also too busy – much to her mother’s annoyance as Fran thinks Pip should spend more time with her own children.
Mark, the closest to Rosie, is of course pleased she is home but he doesn’t feel in a celebratory mood having recently broke up with his girlfriend of 3 years. Leighton Vogt gives a sensitive and considered performance as this very troubled young man and at one stage I was convinced he really was going to tear his hair out!
St Jude’s Players have maintained their excellent reputation with set, lighting and sound design which all came together with excellent direction and performances to make a great production.
Reviewed by Jan Kershaw
Venue: St Jude’s Hall, 444 Brighton
Season: 8-10, 15-17 August at 8pm; 10 and 17 August at 2pm
Duration: 2 hours 30 mins
Tickets: $22 Conc $18
Bookings: https://www.stjudesplayers.asn.au/bookings-2/ Phone 0436 262 628 (9am – 5:30pm, Mon-Fri)