Reviewed by Dave Smith
Ever on the lookout for fresh, challenging material, Galleon has found a gem with its Australian Premiere of Stephen Metcalfe’s Loves and Hours.
This is a very American piece in style, content and structure and Erik Strauts’ tight direction faithfully met its intentions. The many scenes – most of them brief vignettes – were well served by Julia Morris’ striking, simple and serviceable set which allowed the necessary slick transitions.
The ensemble was strong and even. While the first Act performances were generally solid and often funny, everyone rose to the greater challenges of Act 2 when, true to its roots, the play grew darker. As the title hints, this is a play about multiple forms of love. Just when the audience thought there could be no further permutations of the tangled relationships, there came yet another twist.
Central to the action and the play’s success was Andrew Horwood as Daniel. He had a mild, engaging presence and related well to the rest of the cast and also the audience whom he often addressed directly. Throughout, his timing was impeccable.
Shelley Hampton was subtle and most convincing as Julia, Sharon Pitardi was skilful and measured as Sarah and Megan Langford was entirely believable as Rebecca. Rosie Williams, Simon Lancione and Laura Antoniazzi were confident and successful as the younger characters Charlotte, Dan Jr and Andrea. They each had some extraordinary moments yet did not overplay them.
With this production Galleon set the challenge and met it squarely.