I’ve been hit by either a monstrous bout of hay fever or I’m coming down with a cold, so I feel rotten. I’ll keep this short and stick to the positives, although I will say that the tour group who hung around outside my car for far too long before the show were just damned creepy.
There are four plays in Snagged (plus a BBQ at interview – get into some of that action!) three of which were written by current students at Chadstone Holmesglen. Two are classmates of mine. Also, I should point out, my play didn’t get in. Not bitter. Much.
It can be quite intimidating putting your work out there for people to see and judge, and more so in the case of writers who have handed their scripts over and no longer have control. Add to this working with non-professional actors and crew and it can be difficult. As anyone who has written a text message or email that has been misinterpreted can understand, words can have different meanings depending on the interpretation.
Added to this is the fact that last night was the dress rehearsal and so the actors and crew were just getting used to an audience and the space. Overall, it went really well.
The night started with The Indian Myna by Stephen Nichols, a play which looks at casual and not-so-casual racism in Australian society, along with family issues. That description doesn’t do it justice – it is a witty play with delightful humour that came out well in the performance. The interaction between the mother and her Indian border was particularly delightful and will settle into a natural and comfortable place as the season continues.
Second was It’s Playtime by Jessica McQueenie, about the conflicted relationship has with a childhood toy. James Le Gassick (disclaimer – he’s a friend) did a great job at carrying the show, as it is, for a large part, a monologue. However, when Jo-Anne Armstrong came in as the other characters she almost stole the show. I don’t think her first character even has a coherent line, but was extremely humourous. And that bear has scary eyes. Don’t look it in the face.
Burnt by Cathy Broaders started the second act, with a naturalistic and very humourous take on the Aussie BBQ and mateship. The strong dialogue and humour carries this piece, along with good use of pacing. It was a quiet audience until this one started. It’s hilarious, I tell ya.
Finally, the evening ended with Just LIke Dad by Caroline Rowan. This followed several characters as they went in and out of relationships, and my main criticism is that it was too short. It really felt like a full-length play, and that the characters seemed rushed into and out of situations. It was very well acted by all three cast members, although the stand out for me, probably for the whole night, was Hannah Bolt with her doe-eyed crush.
If you are interested in seeing some work by some of the new writing talent in Melbourne, get along and check out Snagged. It is playing at St Martin’s Theatre in Sth Yarra at 7:30pm Wed – Sat until Oct 30th. Tickets only $18/$15.