Written By: Shona Wilson
Directed By: Kerry Girdwood
Reviewed by: Albert Sword
New Plymouth can now add a new name to their marvellous array of creative venues and persons. Shona Wilson has written a play, about, yes, staging a play.
This NP resident has managed to combine many facets of life and living into this two-acter, which holds audience attention with excellent comedic writing yet faces up to the well-known problems of stage Johnnies and Joans; jealousy, sex – too much of, booze – too much of, and the eternal backbiting that goes on backstage.
Tough stuff, but in the hands of a good ensemble cast, all doable with many laughs out loud from the appreciative Sunday matinee audience.
Dee Brough, near flawless, and Gillian Avery were given much dialogue, and many chances to develop their characters from old friends to adversaries, with witty, sardonic and bitter words – probably a few too many words at times - and did so superbly.
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The rest of the tight ensemble cast proved good support for the main speeches on stage, and the very funny, beautifully executed, non-dialogue with the off-stage sound guy.
The first act took a while to settle in, with all actors definitely getting into stride about halfway through to intermission.
The second act started with a bang, almost literally, as author Shona Wilson shared her clever writing and plot with the ensemble.
I longed for the characters to travel more, talk as they moved, not to waste the all-important words, but give them even more meaning, but that is a small criticism.
Again, Dee Brough proved adept at moving during her speeches, on one occasion actually speaking upstage. Every word was heard.
For me, it is always the words, and Shona Wilson has proved herself adept at writing pace, plot and narrative. This is an intelligent, witty and meaningful play, well presented and directed by Kerry Girdwood.
It deserves good attendance and may be seen Wednesday, October 13, to Friday, October 15, at Repertory Theatre.