Once again “Wings2Fly” has managed to squeeze rehearsal time into the first week of the school holidays in order to conjure two one act pieces within an equally concentrated season at the Holden Street Theatres. “Scaredy Cat” written by Brendon Hogan and directed by Michelle Nightingale is a whimsical little tale of a junior scouting group the “Little Troopers”. It reminds me of Wes Anderson’s delightful film “Moonrise Kingdom” with similar diverse characters and their relationships and friendship ups and downs. Along the way there is difference of opinion, missing troopers and a liberal serve of mystery surrounding both an abandoned gold mine and the prospect of a wild animal, the black panther which may be roaming the nearby countryside. The repetitive melodramatic pause with accompanying hand gestures whenever the abandoned mine is mentioned is most effective. It is a good example of how writers and performers can use repetition as part of the texture of comedy.
This is a lively little piece with all of its cast making worthy contributions. Among them was Rain Chen as Tiny who demonstrates confident vocal projection and concentration throughout. Ricky Dong as Kenny has a rudimentary handle on the art of comic timing while Scarlett O’Halloran as the Troop Leader is precise and commanding in her role. Many of the cast stand out in their cameos and all will no doubt benefit from the experience, (little trooper honour !!!!!)
The second play “Home Shopping Studios Live” written by Claire Epstien and directed Alicia Zorkovic pretty much defines itself. Its themes focus entirely on the collective awfulness of T.V. shopping channels. And in so doing, the ensemble, presenters and guest vendors alike, successfully lampoon this advertising genre. I especially liked the opening pitch for the sale of “Famous Rocks” depicting claimed visual likeness to various celebrities. Also products to capture interest (or mild revulsion) include “Huggems”, cuddly animals stuffed with human hair, “Greg’s T-Shirts” being peddled by a creepily obsessive one solitary date stalker, the weird fellow far too attached to his floral arrangements, the delightfully shifty seller of fake IDs and the box of baby boa constrictors with an odd allergy to the scent of pine! All in all a bizarre little collection indeed.
Everybody in this senior group ensemble gives of their best. With a little more attention to the old stage constants pertaining to timing and pace this sketch will polish up well as performances proceed. I liked it and so did the audience!
“Wings2Fly” does perform a minor miracle getting every aspect of stage presentation together in such a condensed time scale. Their end product is always worthy of an afternoon or evening visit.