One Act Season 2024 - Garrick Theatre Review

One Act Season 2024 - Garrick Theatre Review


Posted 2024-02-10 by PerthKelfollow

Thu 08 Feb 2024 - Sat 17 Feb 2024

Perth theatre companies staging their own One Act seasons have been increasing in popularity over the past few years. These are great stepping stones for new directors, actors and writers to break into the theatre scene.

Garrick Theatre in Guildford is starting 2024 with its One Act Season, incorporating Overtones written by Alice Gerstenberg and directed by Rebekah O’Brien; The Worker written by Walter Wykes, directed by Jason Robert Lester with assistant direction by Pamela Grace; and finally The Mysterious Amateur Tramp based on the true story and book by Colin Choat, written by Jenny Davis and directed by Melanie DeCull.

L-R Erin Shay Horrigan as Harriet, Ali McNamara at back as Hetty, Fiona Forster as Maggie and Amanda Bird as Margaret. Photo by Rebekah O’Brien

The evening opens with Overtones, two women as they appear to each other, and their inner selves as they really are. The set appears to be an upper-class sitting area, the performance starting with Hetty checking herself out in the mirror. Harriet soon enters and the two have a back-and-forth about their soon-to-be arriving visitor, Margaret with Maggie in tow. The four ladies then engage in more back and forth, the outers (Harriet and Margaret) saying what they believe the other wants and needs to hear while their inners (Hetty and Maggie) translate how they really feel. While the outers can only hear their own inner, these two get very close to blows telling each other the truth. It’s a very interesting storyline and concept, as we’ve all been in that situation where we keep what we’d really like to say to ourselves, while actually saying what’s more appropriate/what they want to hear/what’s going to cause the least amount of drama.

Watching this I did at first have trouble working out who was who with regards to Harriet and Hetty, but this soon because obvious closer to their visitor's arrival. Not sure if it was by design or not, but having both inners with coloured hair was a lovely offset to the very straight-laced outers. The costumes were obviously well thought out, being both close enough but different enough to highlight the two different sides we all have. All the ladies did very well with their individual characters, Erin and Amanda being very straight-laced, whilst Ali and Fiona get to go over the top and get emotional. There were a few moments where ladies did talk over the top of each other, but these were minimal. A funny one-act that got some laughs.

L-R Mason Allen as Man and Ashlee McKenna as Woman. Photo by Jeremy Moore

Second up for the evening is The Worker, the relationship between a husband and wife and how the man’s desire to provide disrupts their bond. When the man returns home from work he finds that his wife doesn’t have dinner waiting as he wants, he’s obviously stressed from being overworked. The reason why his dinner isn’t ready shows how his over-commitment to his work has affected his wife and her coping mechanisms for him barely being around. And when a messenger (Peri Watson) turns up at their door, the reason for the visit throws the wife a tough choice.

This was an unusual production. Whilst some of the ideas and scenarios are somewhat exaggerated, the theme behind this is very relevant in today’s world where everyone trying to get a good work-life balance and the effects this can have on the ones we love. All three actors did a good job with their roles, even Peri with her small time on stage, although I do have to point out that if you are moving ‘heavy’ boxes around on stage, remember they’re ‘heavy’ the whole time, not just up and down. This was a little more heavy in terms of context against Overtones but still enjoyable to watch.

L-R Peter Neaves as Male, Andy Peckover as Aidan de Brune and Sarah House as Female. Photo by Kate Sanders

Following intermission was the final one act of the evening The Mysterious Amateur Tramp, which is based on the real-life story of director Melanie DeCull’s great-grandfather. It’s the reimagining of the extraordinary walk of journalist and mystery crime writer Aiden de Brune who was the first person to walk solo and unassisted around the perimeter of Australia. The show is mostly a two-hander between Andy and his nephew Jacob Peckover as Voice/Conscience, broken up by Peter and Sarah’s representations of the people Aiden may have come across in his travels. Aiden originally set out to only take one year to complete the walk, but it ended up taking him over two years to complete the epic journey.

The story was very captivating, although maybe a tad too long for inclusion in a night of one-act shows - but that’s my only critique. Andy did a wonderful job with the large monologues and remembering the dates and places Aiden was known to have passed, along with spending a good portion of the performance walking around the basically bare stage carrying a pack. Peter and Sarah did a wonderful job with the large array of different characters they portrayed, from two small children playing to town dignitaries. It wasn’t until I was chatting with the cast and crew at the end of the night that I learnt this was the first time Jacob had ever been on stage, it didn’t show at all, he’s obviously a natural! The soundscape provided a great accompaniment to what was happening or being talked about.

I do have to put out a note to Garrick Theatre itself, while I didn’t purchase a program I did get a chance to look over one; as an audience member and reviewer, it’s very disappointing to see a show program that doesn’t include a cast list. As an audience member, it makes it difficult to know who is who on stage and much harder as a reviewer to know who to write about without that important information.

The entire evening was extremely enjoyable with each of the shows providing a good variety of stories, themes and settings to keep the audience entertained from start to finish. I highly recommend heading out to Garrick Theatre and catching the season before it closes. At the time of writing, one of the remaining five performances (10-17 February) is sold out and the others only have limited availability. Tickets are only $10 each, extremely affordable for community theatre, and can be purchased from TAZtix

Photos were supplied by director Melaine DeCull.

#community -theatre
!date 08/02/2024 -- 17/02/2024
277537 - 2024-02-10 10:32:45


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