The Last resort

‘The Last Resort’ is the latest warm and fuzzy piece by WA playwright Noel O’Neill. This production is being presented by the Kalamunda Dramatic Society at KADS Theatre, 6 Central Mall in Kalamunda.

The curtain goes up on this fine blend of drama, character studies and fun at 7.30 pm on Wednesday, Friday, Saturday until the 29th May.

Noel has been keeping Perth residents entertained for years, but this is the first time that I have seen drama and blatant madness blended together in such a way that the audience just lapped it up with a smile.

The Scene:           1960s old folks’ nursing home.

The Set: The lounge of the home. It has old furniture, and a décor that is showing the worse for wear. The pale wood grained wallpaper is showing its age, but most worrying is the fact that the walls are developing massive settlement cracks.

Set construction:              Peter Bloor and Martin Dorman, two of WA’s best builders working together.

Stage manager:                 Lesley Broughton in full control.

Lighting and sound tech crew Mark Ramsey and Gabriel Ferrari working well.

Programme photography by Tony Shelsher

                Two of the ladies, Doreen (Lis Hoffmann) and Geraldine (Sharon Menzies), are doing their jigsaws on a table; Edinburgh citizen, Frances (Sandra Sando) sits in the corner clicking away with her knitting needles. The old fellas, well they are doing what all old men do – they are relaxing! Catching up on their lost sleep. Refined David (Peter Nettleton) with his silk tie, chats to Bill (Paul Larder) with a shady past. Sitting alone with his iPad is Arthur (Stan O’Neill), who has a brief and unique way of summing up the world’s situations.

                In turn, each resident gives an outline of their life. Some uplifting, some of sad desertion.

The room door opens and dressed in dungarees, Harry (Kim Taylor) the handyman and general dog’s body enters. Harry is an enthusiastic caring man, but with little talent. Even his Granddad jokes are rejected by the semi-bored ‘inmates’. Then one day Harry has some REAL news.

Directed by writer Noel O’Neill, but Noel did not have much of a challenge. The cast are all highly respected actors, with literally hundreds of years of stage experience between them. Each had a rich and different personality, a tale to tell, delivering their lines immaculately.

The costumes were supplied by the Country Women’s Association Op Shop in Central Road.

A good night of community theatre, with everyone leaving with a smile on their faces.