‘Let the Sunshine’ reviewed by Gordon the Optom

by August 18, 2017

‘Let The Sunshine’ is a satire written in 2009, and is a generous helping of Noosa life as seen through the eyes of one of Australia’s best-known and prolific playwrights, David Williamson. Williamson is respected for his perception into various aspects of Aussie life, from big business and politics, down to the survival of the lowliest of citizens, but here the clever script is too dense.

This perceptive, but slightly predictable insight is being presented by the Wanneroo Repertory at the Limelight Theatre, Civic Drive, Wanneroo. The 2-hour performances commence at 8.00 pm on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings until 26th August. There is one matinée at 2.00 pm on Sunday 20th.

 

The scene is Noosa in 2007. An impressive, single set (designer Rob Benson-Parry, built by Tim Riessen and Dave Browning) is of a modern house with high, plain grey walls. The décor is a set of illuminated louvered windows, with one large picture window at the rear, showing the sky beyond.

The left of the stage is Toby’s home. The right is Ron’s Noosa home, and on a central platform at the rear, is café.

Beth Crowley, Rachel Williams, and Cherilyn McMeekin care for the stage management.

Rob Benson-Parry and Jillian Betterton’s lighting is very well considered, and is used to selectively move the action around the stage, from location to location. The sound operator was Kim Elford, who played first class musical backing, selected from the works of local musician and vocalist, Kieran Ridgeway – an absolute delight.

 

     When left wing, Toby (David Nelson), a once ‘hard-hitting’ but now failing, documentary maker reaches 60, his wife Ros (Rosalyn Anderson) decides to throw a party, but Toby has very few friends and just wants to forget the event. The only person that might come is an old friend, Ron (Michael Balmer), whom Ros secretly detests. Ron is a wealthy property developer who has ruined the area, but earned himself $200 million in the process.

     Ron’s wife, Natasha (Gillian Binks) tries to avoid the invitation – without success. On the night of the celebratory dinner out, Toby takes along his son Rick (Nick Thomas), a struggling, singer / songwriter. Likewise, Natasha brought her Greenie daughter, Emma (Catherine Dunn), a ruthless corporate lawyer. It is an evening when no one is on good terms with any other. Even the children have trouble with their parents.

     The day after the party, Toby decides that they must move to Sydney and be with people of a similar nature to their own, but can this really be the answer?

 This play is Tim Riessen’s directing début, but sadly, he has chosen what must be one of David Williamson’s worst plays. The script had chunks of complicated finance theory, coupled with heavy going accounts of the politics of the day. Some of the dialogue was so complicated that it was a major task for the talented cast to cope; and the audience? Well their eyes probably glazed over. Having to concentrate so intently upon the script caused the actors to slow their pace, loose their enunciation and have a weak projection. The body language and chemistry at times disappeared. Very sad because the cast were word perfect and working hard – they deserve credit, in fact a medal.

The storyline was fairly predictable. As a David Williamson fan, I was disappointed.