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‘Loopholes’ reviewed by Gordon the Optom

‘Loopholes’ reviewed by Gordon the Optom

by August 25, 2018

‘Loopholes’ is a fun new work from WA playwright, Amber Galbraith, a Murdoch Theatre student.

The Premiere of this show was in Studio 411, next to car park 4 in the grounds of Murdoch University, in Perth.

There were two performances, one on Friday and the second on Saturday 25th August at the earlier time of 7.30. The Friday 40-minute show was interrupted after about 15 minutes, allowing about half the audience who had arrived late to take their seats – for the remaining 25 minutes.

Even though you show was at a minimal charge, may I suggest that another short show – surely another enthusiastic student has a brief sketch they would love to put on – would make the total show longer that the trip to the theatre?

 

The scene: one side of the stage was an office. The other side was a nightclub. A ‘Beatnik Bard’ musician (Ramiah Meleah Q. Alcantara) sat centrally at the rear of the stage playing the guitar. The music, which was composed by (Ramiah Meleah Q. Alcantara) and Amber Galbraith was good, but a little more depth – an echo box or backing tape(?) – was required to enhance the singers tuneful but weak voices.

The lighting and sound by Evie MacPherson were inventive and flawless. The stage management by Simon Meiri, minimal but smooth.

         As the audience moved into the auditorium, the Hunky Male Slaves (Vasco Jansen, Nic Doig) acted as Dance Hall ‘bouncers’. Their assistance was also required a couple of times during the performance.

     Sitting at her desk, is university Vice Chancellor, Dr Maxine du Messier (Parveen Gupta), a person with a supercharged brain who just cannot understand why so many of her students are not attending classes. She gets her grovelling, inept and feeble henchman, Cornelius Stringbean (Simon Meiri) to find out where they all go to. He discovers the men are Night Club Slaves, and the young women are skimpy waitresses.

     We are taken to the sleazy joint owned by the Queen of the Skimpies, Venus Nipplé (Cassee Lazic, who was happy to show she did not have a ‘nipple of Venus’!) where Venus was showing two new girls, Virgin skimpy, Bambi (Elizabeth ‘Libby’ Wells) and Whore Kitty (Andrea Kendrick) the routine.

      The overbearing Dr Maxine develops an ingenious scheme to keep her students learning whilst being saucy performers.

 

Further creative consultation was by Maiken Kruger. The short choreography pieces were devised by Ash Spring.

The playwright, Amber Galbraith, decided to double as the director; a move, which unless you have a great deal of acting experience, is unadvisable. As a result, it is easy to misread the delivery between the performers’ lines and misjudge the play’s pace. The latter was quite noticeable. At times the play’s genre turned from comedy to edge on puerile slapstick; the subtle sections were much more successful.

The story lines were quite innovative and interesting, and there were plenty of laughs. Admirably, the actresses bravely took themselves outside their comfort zones, being required to wear skimpy outfits and to sing. Very well done. A good show that could be refined and developed.

A couple of general observations that relate to several shows that I have seen recently.

If you are playing someone who is angry, be careful not to allow your voice to rise to a level that can only be heard by dogs. Going down an octave is far more effective.

When taking your curtain call don’t over do it, a quick individual bow (preferably in pairs) and a single one-line bow. Recently I have seen several group line-bows, which can lose the audience’s appreciation.