One Act Play Festival – Galleon Theatre Group, St Jude’s Players, Deadset Theatre Company

One Act Play Festival – Galleon Theatre Group, St Jude’s Players, Deadset Theatre Company

It’s Marion Cultural Centre’s 21st Birthday and to celebrate they have invited their resident theatre group Galleon Theatre Group, their neighbour (just down the road and around the corner) St Jude’s Players and relative new comer Deadset Theatre Company to the party to each present a one act play.

Instead of receiving gifts, the Cultural Centre have given us three sparkly, wondrous gifts in the form of these one act plays.

St Jude’s Players gave us the very funny Bananas written by Richard Bradshaw and directed by the very accomplished Geoff Brittain. It would spoil the surprise to give away too much of the plot – so let’s just say that, although written in 1976, the play deals with issues of racism, same sex union and challenging the attitudes of parents in a delightful sitcomedy way. Brittain makes sure that his sitcom family – Liam James (son Charles Darwin), Therese Hornby (mother Mrs Darwin) and Anthony Vawser (father Mr Darwin) deliver each laugh perfectly. Each actor understands well the nuances involved in this style of comedy. Again without spoiling the surprise, it must be mentioned that Gabi Douglas’s physicality as girlfriend Julie steals the show. A wonderful start to the afternoon/evening.

Deadset Theatre Company follow with something completely different: War Letters by Anonymous and directed by Zoe Muller. Let’s cut straight to the chase: this production is stunning in its simplicity and just sublimely brilliant. Sixteen young adults (Harris Wolff, Oswin Kwan, Archie Rowe, Louis Tonkin, Oliver Medwell, Kynan Hartley, Alyssa D’Onofrio, Te Schmidt, Brittany Daw, Natasha Luscri, Madison Crouch, Jack Spanton, Ben Proeve, Lazuli Chittleborough, Flynn Turley and Amelia Baldock) narrate their letters to loved ones during times of war, from the American Civil War through to Vietnam. This is a true ensemble piece and these sixteen young people leave us in no doubt about that – they are all superb. Muller somehow deftly places all sixteen actors on stage together (and having performed on that smallish stage myself I know that is no small feat). Movement is minimal but succinct and timing from all is spot on. The one American accent that is present from the Confederate soldier is soft, lyrical and very nicely underplayed. Emotions abound in this fairly short piece and the audience are captured by them from the very first entrance. It always amazes me how young adults and teenagers can manage to portray perfectly the emotions of events that they have never experienced (and hopefully never will). I unashamedly rave about this piece and deservedly so – it left us breathless and totally absorbed in what we had just witnessed. The very moving visual that climaxes the play is worth the price of admission alone. WOW!!

Galleon Theatre Group’s contribution David Mamet’s The Duck Variations as directed by Andrew Clark and featuring seasoned actors Harry Dewar and Jack Robins doesn’t let the side down. Mamet’s plays, be they short or long, are not easily digested and require immense understanding from director and performers to make them palatable. Thank goodness for Clark, Dewar and Robins! They get it!! In fourteen ‘variations’ or scenes we hear from two elderly gents on a bench somewhere in Central Park about love, friendship, Birth, Death and basically the Circle of Life but all topics somehow involving ducks. This is a very funny piece but in the wrong hands could come across tedious and boring. Not so in this production. Clark keeps movement to a minimum allowing the audience to concentrate on Dewar’s and Robins’ performances which are wonderfully and hilariously realistic. And their Nue Yoick accents are spot on!

Marion Cultural Centre, Domain Theatre and Marion Council are to be commended for sponsoring this venture and for supporting local community theatre. Let’s hope we don’t have to wait for a 40th birthday til we can celebrate again.

Big presents for the three companies involved!!!

- Advertisement -

This production was reviewed by:

Latest reviews