‘Trilogy’ reviewed by Gordon the Optom

by August 29, 2013

Trilogy’ is Marloo’s season of superb, locally written, One Act Plays. The performances can be seen at the Marloo Theatre, 20 Marloo Road, Greenmount, they run each Wednesday, Friday and Saturday evening at 8.00 pm until Saturday 14th September. There is one Sunday matinée, it is
on Father’s Day the 1st September.

Political Correction’ (40-minutes), is a clever comedy / thriller, written by mathematician James Forte. James is part of this year’s Black Swan Writers’ development course. The play was directed by Douglas Sutherland-Bruce who was assisted by the playwright, James Forte.

In a comfortable suburban home, live two politically active teenagers; the slightly nervous Colin (Harrison ‘Harry’ MacLennan) and his temptress sister, Sarah (Melissa Scott). Their parents, a chemistry professor and his wife are out for the evening, and so the teenagers have taken the opportunity to invite local politician, Frank Armstrong (Alex Sutton) around to the house under the pretence of arranging a research grant for the father.

What is the true reason for the invitation?

Written satirically in parts like, ‘Yes Prime Minister’, with all of the warped political lies, this very funny play is particularly relevant at the moment. It is a novel idea that has been well constructed. The audience loved the sugar-coated hypocrisy, spontaneously applauding some of the lines that could have come straight from the TV’s evening news. The three actors were all excellent, with Alex convincingly playing a man twice his age.

Holly and Ivy’ (40-minutes) is a heart wrenching play written by WAAPA lecturer Noel O’Neill. It is exactly 5 years since I first saw this play at the Rechabites Hall with the same actresses playing Holly and Ivy. This production was directed by ‘the cast’, and what a magnificent job they did.

It is Christmas Eve in a small town in central Scotland (Broxburn?). Ivy (Sandra Sando) is making a cup of tea for heryounger sister, Holly (Catriona M. Coe) who has just arrived at the family home for the funeral of their mother.

Ivy is grieving deeply and is somewhat annoyed by the ‘couldn’t care’ attitude of her sister. An argument starts as the sibling rivalry reignites. Both women have a lot to get off their chest, and they are not going to hold back. However, Tommy (Ray Egan) an old friend of their Mum arrives, intoxicated as ever, and cramps their belligerent style.

Can the family ever be the same again?

This poignant play has won many richly deserved awards since its first production. It is a real tear-jerker. The two sisters captured their parts perfectly, and with such a wonderfully true to life script, the whole story was a delight. We all know families just like this one. Ray was impressive with his Scottish accent matching the two girls perfectly. A memorable play, beautifully presented.

La Divina Speaks’ (35-minutes) is the life story of Maria Callas, brought to life on the page by award winning writer Douglas Sutherland-Bruce and Elisa Wilson. Douglas then went on to direct this piece.

It is 1972 and we join Maria Callas (Elisa Wilson) as she finishes a passion filled passage from Puccini’s ‘Tosca’. Dressed in a stunning peacock blue satin dress, and dripping with jewels, she takes her bow.

We then join her after the show at her home in Long Island, where Maria tells us of her youth. How as a dowdy, fat, pimply girl with thick myopic glasses she had to perform for her parents in Greece. Then the war arrived and the family was split up.

Her fascinating, and at times, gripping tale takes us through her love affairs and family dramas. She ‘knew’ (in the Biblical sense) many famous people of the era, from soldiers to the extremely rich.

I don’t need to say that the tremendous delivery by WAAPA graduate and International opera soprano, Elisa Wilson, was jaw dropping. Not surprisingly, Elisa was a winner of a prestigious Armstrong-Martin Opera Scholarship. Delivering an emotional song from an opera with such
skill and tenderness is a challenge beyond most performers, but to then do a half hour monologue which entranced the audience and had them hanging onto every word of the story, is another difficult art in itself.

The back stage team of Marjorie DeCaux (costumes), sound (Greg Rusha), lighting (Michael Hart, Hayley Dewort and David Bain) excelled.

How often do we see trilogies when one play will be good, one average and the third diabolical? Here we have three superbly written plays, well directed and top notch acting. A really special night at the theatre.