reviewed by Ceri Horner
Leo Bailey is one of Australia’s most valuable living artists. He is also cantankerous, mean, abusive and an alcoholic; an unsavoury burden to bear for his daughter Margo. Therese is desperate for work and takes on the challenging job of live in carer. The two lonely misfits somehow find a place they belong.
Director Erik Stauts has assembled a skilled cast. Alli Scharber is ideal as Therese, the self-labelled foul mouthed slut, providing a compelling blend of uneducated lowlife with the tough love and softness of a good parent.
Brian Godfrey is convincing as Leo Bailey. He’s completely deplorable and offensive but the audience can’t help but have a soft spot for the mean old drunk.
Steve Marvanek is endearing as Karl the kind hearted chippie. Able support is also provided by Shelley Hampton in the role of the long suffering daughter Margo and Saul Vannaxton as Gavin.
The set by Dennis Peach provides a colourful and arty backdrop for the action.
Some scene changes are a little clunky but this production is an otherwise splendid effort. A story beautifully constructed by playwright Debra Oswald, Mr Bailey’s Minder is an emotional journey which left the opening night audience laughing and crying in equal measure.