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All Sorts 3 - Henry Lawson Theatre's season of short plays: Review by Selina Wong

Updated: Feb 26




The following plays make up the show All Sorts.





1.LA 8AM


Directed by Nicole Smith, LA 8AM is a sharp and quirky play which sees exuberant Morning Television hosts A&G; Holly-Leigh Prophet and Joshua Paterson, provide a unique running commentary of the relationship and mundane life of couple Kevin and Paige; Elliot Prophet and Angela Pezzano. From the moment Prophet and Paterson burst through the aisles and onto the stage, their high energy contrasted well with Elliot Prophet’s dejection and Pezzano’s hopelessness. Smith’s vision; statistics, numbers, a television remote and box of Fruit Loops, took the audience on a journey of curiosity, laughter and reflection. The ending was like a punch in the guts and leaves the audience to ponder on the fragility of life. Perhaps LA 8AM is the “wake up call” we all need.




2. ALL HAIL BOB 


This wholesome play had me in stitches from start to finish. Directed by Sari Erasmus-Hickey, All Hail Bob features a disgruntled taxi driver, Graham Fairbrother and hilarious passenger, Rhonda Hancock, who took the audience on a cheeky ride to the station. Whilst Hancock hilariously explains who “Bob, the God of traffic lights” was, Fairbrother’s bewildered facials steal the show. Peppered with religious ironies, All Hail Bob explores the ironies of blind faith and beliefs. Hancock’s characterisation of a tottering old woman was comically encapsulated by her costuming; a scarf tied around a visor and her authentic delivery. The playful energy between this driver and passenger is reminiscent of any old and married couple which makes the duo so lovable. 




3. THE HOLIDAY





The talented Nicole Smith, who wrote and directed The Holiday, must be celebrated for her truly powerful and poignant short play. It is 1962 and Mrs Douglas, played by the incredible Rosie Crossing, sets off on a “cruise of a lifetime” to the Islands of the South Pacific. The versatile Angela Pezzano and Felicity Jean, who play a waitress, old lady, gymnastics instructor, dance teacher, nurse and doctor, wait on Mrs Douglas hand and foot and offer her endless mimosas. Crossing’s acting is truly mesmerising as Mrs Douglas slowly reveals information about her relationship with husband Stanley. Without revealing too much, Smith’s The Holiday left me with goosebumps, tears in my eyes and in awe of how raw this commanding play was. 






4. ORDAINED


Director Holly-Leigh Prophet successfully brings to life the all familiar uncomfortable and unpredictable nature of catching public transport and the sheer excitement of wooing someone new. Set in an airport terminal, Gary and Abby, played by Joshua Paterson and Tayah Gulyas, are two strangers whose paths cross by the joyful and truly hilarious Sharon, Nicole Madden; a harmless “nutjob” who had recently been ordained as a minister through the SacredChurchOfAngelicMinistry.com. After finding out both Gary and Abby are single, Sharon tries everything in her power to marry them. Gulyas is authentic in her disinterest in Gary while Paterson genuinely expresses the awkwardness and eagerness in meeting someone you like. No one else could better capture the essence of Sharon other than the hysterical Madden; whose slapstick style acting and exuberance was second to none. Ordained is a heart warming and unpredictable play which entertains the connection between romance, destiny and fate. 






5. WHERE HAVE ALL THE LIGHTNING BUGS GONE


Where Have All The Lightning Bugs Gone is a multifaceted play which explores the imagination, innocence and universal power of love that transcends through time. Set on a simple park bench, director Ian Fletcher successfully captures the wonder and playfulness of a young couple getting to know each other.Tayah Gulyas and Matt Doherty engage in a spontaneous conversation which Gulyas’s character slowly surrenders to Doherty’s brave antics. This fast-paced and unpredictable script was brought to life by Doherty’s fluid energy and Gulyas' authenticity. The chemistry between these two strangers was captivating and the audience was left to reflect on the unspoken joys and complexity of human relationships.

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