A freelance writer living and loving in the northern beaches of Sydney...travelling, writing, outdoor activities, gardens, and Pilates are a few of my favourite things. Visit me www.potpourritravels.wordpress.com or www.facebook.com/potpourritravels/
Funny, sad, entertaining and upsetting, life's like that
The Lane Cove Theatre Company is excited and proud to be currently presenting in the round "The Last 5 Years" by Jason Robert Brown, a Tony Award-winning composer and lyricist.
This musical premiered at Chicago's Northlight Theatre in 2001 and was then produced off-Broadway in 2002. The play uses song-cycle to deconstruct a love affair and marriage breakdown taking place over a five-year period.
The story is told almost entirely through song, with Cathy's character telling her story beginning at the end of the relationship, and Jamie sings his story beginning at the lusty, heady days of the first flush of meeting and falling in love. Their time-line crosses over with the marriage proposal.
Jamie, played by Brent Dolahenty, is an enthusiastic, burgeoning writer trying to get his first novel published. Cathy, played by Belinda Humphries, plays a struggling musical actress trying to succeed. Juggling careers and possible fame, whilst at the same time trying to make a new relationship work, sends the couple onto a roller-coaster of emotions that at times made this reviewer feeling just slightly uncomfortable, as the raw edge of their pain was extraordinarily portrayed.
The geographical intimacy of being staged in the round makes you feel part of the relationship, almost as if you were caught eavesdropping on a friend's love affair. As we all know, there's always two sides to every relationship, and the opening scene for Cathy is intensely personal as she deals with the realisation that the marriage may be over.
Emotions are stirred and challenged; intimacy, trust, and affection are a minefield to be navigated. This contemporary and authentic experience close to most of us, has been cleverly interwoven and shared through song and physical expression. At around two hours long, with a short intermission, the two actors display emotional capacity and skill developed over many years of theatre.
Belinda Humphries started classical singing training at the age of 12 under the guidance of Opera Australia's Patricia Johnson. More recently, she received rave reviews for her performance in the "Vagina Monologues" and as 'Lindsay' in LCTC's production of "Godspell".
Brent Dolahenty grew up a country boy in Wagga Wagga. School choirs and concerts inspired him to graduate from the Western Australia Academy of Performing Arts in Music Theatre. He has starred around the world in productions such as West Side Story, Chicago, Les Miserables, and his very own one man show, 'Under Construction'.
The story has also been adapted to film by "PS, I Love You" director Richard LaGravenese, but for this guest-reviewer the intimate space of the round, with a simple piano-accompaniment, complements and adds another level of depth and weight to the story that makes you a part of it, rather than a third-party watching it from afar.
Friday 12th August 7.30pm
Saturday 13th August 7.30pm
Sunday 14th August 2.00pm
Friday 19th August 7.30pm
Saturday 20th August 7.30pm