Reviewed by Paul Davies
Rosie Aust has found an ideal play for the St Jude’s stage, she’s then assembled a fine cast, and directed them brilliantly.
Set in a single hospital room this play would’ve looked out-of-place on a bigger stage, but here it’s all Goldilocks! The writing moves the action along as quick-as-you-like, scene changes a little slow on opening night but I know that they’re going to get quicker! Authors Marshall and Ganz have provided humour, mostly of the quick, New York variety, and pathos in spades.
Tony Busch is the dying, blind Peter Ravenswaal, he’s belligerent, bossy, and basically nasty. He does it well, even more so when you know he came to the role late! Busch’s enjoyment in the part is obvious. His main protagonist is Lana Adamuszek as Anita Merendino. Her accent is brilliant, never waivers and has exactly the right annoying nasal quality. These two actors are perfect foils for one-another in these roles. A small note not to tread on laughs too soon to Adamuszek is only worth mentioning in a spirit of construction.
Alex Radda and Sanne Baltussen in the secondary roles are both well cast, both get the most from their parts, and both have accents like they’ve been coached. Radda seems to be channelling the Kenickie character from Grease, but his lack of experience only shows when he’s not doing anything, and you’ll see plenty of actors with more experience do similar. Mannarisms and characterisations are very well done.
The play moves easily between big picture and little-life problems. If you enjoy the humour of cruelty, get there!