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One and The Other at La Mama Theatre - Review

Home > Melbourne > Cabaret | Comedy | Performing Arts | Quirky | Theatre
by Olga Junek (subscribe)
I am an academic living in Melbourne. I love to travel and I also love writing about all the things Melbourne has to offer. You can also follow me on What's my DNA at
Event: -
Fun, quirky performance
One and the Other La Mama Batton and Broadway
Image: Batton & Broadway by Richard Collins

This is a quirky, fun and entertaining show that you shouldn't miss, especially if you are on the other side of 40 and beyond. One and the Other tells the story of Sue Broadway and her not so helpful but very loyal assistant Debra Batton. The first act of the show starts off on a very bare stage with two middle-age plus ladies having a tea party. You are left wondering where this is going and how it will develop.

The relationship of the two performers, as it evolves on stage and as you are drawn into their long history of being friends and artistic partners, is the source of many mishaps, miscommunications and fun. Throughout their performance, you realise they have been colleagues, enemies, collaborators and even rivals, yet underneath you feel the camaraderie and love too.

Sue Broadway Debra Batton
Sue Broadway and Debra Batton, the performers Image:

There are slapstick, circus, dance, gymnastics, clown and vaudeville acts, all tinged with self-deprecation, views of the artist world and big cheers to ageing gracefully, or ungracefully as the case may be. The performances, as well as being fun, are at times confronting and thought-provoking but as you walk out of the theatre you will have a smile on your face and a high feel-good factor, especially so if you are a woman of a certain age.

Batton and Broadway are consummate performers with many years of experience in performing, teaching and directing at a number of circus and artistic organisations, Circus Oz being the one in which they both spent a lot of time. They began work together four years ago hosting a variety style event, The Classics at the Melba Spiegeltent, featuring performers over 50 years of age. The current show brings together their innumerable talents and their sense of the quirky, fun and irreverent.

As well as being champions of ageing and staying visible, Batton and Broadway very cleverly weave in stories of their past and the people and colleagues they have worked with. Anyone who has ever worked with some of the characters to whom they make references (and haven't we all?), will identify strongly with their messages to these people towards the end of the show.

Very ably accompanied by composer and musician Teresa Blake, renowned as a performer with Circus Oz, the show moves through its hour plus performance very swiftly and you are left wanting more when the final curtain comes down, metaphorically speaking.
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*Olga Junek was invited as a guest
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Why? For fun, laughs and a feel-good factor
When: Wed 6.30pm Thu 7.30pm Fri 7.30pm Sat 7.30pm Sun 4pm
Phone: 9347 6948
Where: La Mama Courthouse, 349 Drummond Street, Carlton
Cost: $25 Concession $15
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