‘One Night, One Day’ reviewed by Gordon the Optom

by August 10, 2018

‘One night one day’ is another side-splitting, adult comedy by Western Australian writer, Martin Lindsay. Martin has won both ‘Best Play’ and ‘Best New Writing’ awards, and in addition he has a fine range of one-act plays in his collection of writings.

Last year, in this same venue, Blak Yak (who are celebrating a quarter of a century in the business) brought us possibly the funniest play of the year, ’Spd D8n’ – speed dating – by the same playwright. This is the World Premiere of his latest gem.

Packed with double-entendres and innuendoes, this slightly risqué 140-minute Blak Yak Theatre presentation can be seen at the Shenton Park Community Hall, 240 Onslow Road, Shenton Park on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings at 8.00 until Saturday 18th August. The Sunday evening performance, on the 12th August, is at the earlier time of 7.00.

 

The scene: Contemporary. An early Sunday morning in the bedroom of a shared flat.

Set: A large pine, double bed is centre stage, with a bedside locker, an armchair and a wooden framed, cheval mirror. The floor is strewn, almost knee deep, with dirty clothing, books, stuffed toys and general detritus.

Technician Matt Ward was in charge of the lighting and sound – that included a memorable musical solo by Jamie Buttery. Stage manager, Thomas Wendt had the pleasure of looking after the worst bedroom mess ever.

 

Greg (Joel Sammels) wakes up after an alcoholic night out on the town, only to find himself in bed with a young woman. He has no idea what her name is, and only slightly remembers even meeting her. As he perves her body under the sheets, Rachel (Sjaan Lucas) wakes up horrified and is equally confused.

As Greg congratulates Rachel on her good luck in having slept with him, a much, much, much older man, Bob (Jarrod Buttery – super) a government official, appears on the scene, and couple’s world collapses. Greg finds a little relief when Rachel’s bubbly, man-hungry flatmate, Jane (Ellin Sears – delightful) bounces into the room.

 

This comedy about social graces on ‘the next morning’, is a situation that most people – except me – will have found themselves in. Martin Lindsay’s plays are always quirky, but it is his true-to-life dialogue that stands out. The playwright creates good solid characters, and then gives them a natural dialogue that flows well. It is an adult script, but without being sleazy, there is another hilarious, suggestive and racy undertone. The play is packed with belly laughs; some even got an impromptu applause. To be ultra critical, I did feel that the last quarter of the play could have the script pruned by about five minutes, but even so, it is still one of WA’s best pieces of comedy writing.

Director Melissa Merchant, who has a doctorate in theatre, is now a lecturer at Murdoch University. Melissa again shows how she is a master of all genres.

Recently, Sjaan was wonderful in the title role as ‘Mr Bailey’s Minder’, and again as a pregnant con artist in the Russian comedy ‘Black Milk’. Here she proves that those performances were not flukes. Outstanding. In the past two years, Joel has played Titus Andronicus, Macbeth and Frankenstein; here he returns to the present day, changed to the comedy genre and become a ‘normal’ individual. Tremendous chemistry with Sjaan, brilliant.

This production succeeds in all sections, the writing, the directing and the acting. After previous plays by this team, my expectations were high and I was certainly not let down. Great fun.