Reviewed by Richard Lane
Noarlunga Theatre Company has provided live theatre locally for many years, but this production of Jack Hibberd’s iconic Dimboola doesn’t measure up to its normal competent standards.
Dimboola holds the record for the longest run of any Aussie play. It is ribald, boisterous, even salacious .This production, in the hands of director Myles Leon, certainly extracts these elements. Hibberd’s Dimboola is vulgar and bawdy, but here, every line is shouted at top volume. This soon becomes wearing, and the 30 minute interval was a welcome break, particularly for several audience members not returning.
The behaviour we see at the wedding feast of Morrie (Nathan Brown) and Reen (Justine Lewis) is a reflection of times past. Do Australians still behave like this at weddings? So we (the “participating” audience) are seeking satire. Everyone shouts, but no one listens.
The setting is traditional Dimboola – the wedding table on stage for family and friends, the audience seated as if invited guests.
Bayonet (Ian Seymour-White) and Mutton (Clint Mullins) play the drunken uninvited larrikins with energy, and Sue Cherry plays Aunt Agatha venomously. Her song “Wild Thing” at the end was the best musical performance and was hilarious. Mollie Mooney as Astrid also did well though the ”pants wetting” scene was distasteful – Hibberd or not.
As father Patrick O’Shea, experienced Geoff Hastwell delivered mostly unintelligible dialogue. As usual Cherylene O’Brien played with energy and enthusiasm as did Jessica McGaffin, the naughty girl Shirl.
Much more could have been done with this production to elicit innuendo beneath the vulgarity of Australians’ behaviour at a country wedding celebration.