‘Summer Shorts’ reviewed by Gordon the Optom

by March 3, 2015

‘Summer Shorts’ are three One-Act plays that are having their premieres at the Melville Theatre on the corner of Stock Road and Canning Highway in Melville.

The two-hour performances run nightly, for one week only, until 7th March. Curtain up at 8.00 pm. There are matinees on Sunday afternoon 1st and 8th March at 2.00 pm.

 

Excellent Bio Box operation by Sue Lynch.

 

‘An Unwritten Page’ is a glance at one man’s hopes and dreams, by local playwright, Angela Pritchard. Val Henry caringly directed this 25-minute well-structured play.

      Ben (Kit Leake), disabled and in a wheelchair is about to celebrate his 40th birthday. Two very different friends (Cathy Parr, Patrick Harvey) arrive to bring him happiness and fond memories, and help him through this ‘traumatic’ mid-life birthday.

The novel premise of the play is unusual and well presented. The dialogue did not flow too well, whether it was the actual writing – it was a complex and clever topic to tackle – or the variable performances I am not too sure. However, the play was a great idea and good fun.

 

‘That’s What Friends Are For’ is a romantic comedy by prolific writer, Bob Charteris – from north of the river! He may be inexhaustibly fertile in his plays, but you can always be assured of a novel storyline, a twist and with ample dry humour added.

     Helen (Judy Davies-Moore) is mentally alert, but terminally ill. One of her few visitors is her best friend, Irene (Di Ryman), a lass she has known most of her life.

    Her husband of many years is the loving and caring, Tom (Willy Smeets), who tries hard but is a boring, semi-capable cook. Helen’s biggest worry is what will happen to Tom if she passes away.

 

The play is well directed by the playwright, Bob Charteris. There is strong chemistry between the very capable actors, and you can sense the emotions. Fascinating and enjoyable.

 

‘Under The Bright Sun’ is by playwright, Norm Foster – Canada’s most popular writer of light dramas.

      Oddball, Ernst (Cameron Leese) thinks he is God’s gift to women, and is standing at the bus stop outside his house watching the talent walk by. A smartly dressed businessman, Jake (Max Maxville) arrives. Jake is waiting for his wife, Joanne (Kirstie Francis) because they have an important meeting arranged.

      When nervous Violet (Cassandra Gorman) reaches the bus stop, it becomes apparent that each person seems to have a mental block regarding even their immediate past.

 

This is an extremely funny play, totally new in concept. The conversation could be confusing, but with the well-structured dialogue and the outstanding direction by Jay Shaw, the whole play brought laughs from beginning to end.

With a fairly inexperienced cast, skilfully depicting very different characters, the director was taking a risk; but they bonded superbly and gave very fresh and hilarious performances all-round. A tricky play to present, direct, and act, but this team were wonderful.

A good fun night out, highly recommended.