‘A View from the Park – collection 2’ is another dazzling panoply of brand new 16-minute plays written and directed once again by the prolific Perth playwright and script-writing lecturer, Noel O’Neill. Noel is now a regular TV actor in ‘The Heights’, Perth’s much punchier version of ‘Neighbours’.
Noel’s short plays have always been his strong point and these six are truly magnificent character studies. Presented by Maverick Theatre Productions as the follow-up to one of last year’s most successful WA presentations; the theme is the same, a park bench in various locales with quite different people meeting at it.
This wonderful collection can be seen at the Old Mill Theatre on the corner of Mends Street and Mill Point Road in South Perth. Curtain goes up on this two-hour show at 7.30 pm on Friday 23rd, Saturday 24th, Thursday 29th, Friday 30th and Saturday 31st There are three matinées at 2.00 pm. on Saturday and Sunday 24th, 25th and 31st
Tickets at Trybooking.com/BLLMM
The scene: Today. A park bench. The locality changes from America to Australia with each play.
The set: A white wooden park bench. The surrounds are black drapes.
The sound and lighting: John Woolrych has supplied a dappled light as though the daylight was passing through branches. The drapes had green light giving a dark woodland backing.
‘Daddy’s Little Girl’
When a loving father (Malcolm Douglas) hears of his daughter’s (Indie Powell) intention to marry, he throws obstacles at their intended union.
A hilarious play that anyone who has been married, or has had a child married, will immediately recognise. Great chemistry.
‘One for Sorrow’
As two long-time friends are chatting on the bench, it becomes apparent that one (James Hagan) has a grave illness and his friend (Gino Cataldo) becomes aware that he has neglected their friendship.
A sad story that demonstrates a deep warmth that can so often go unrecognised. Great rapport between the actors.
‘Sign Right Here’
A couple (Vivienne Marshall and Rex Gray) who have been together for some time are considering moving in together, but could his superstitions be an encumbrance?
The actors showed how often opposites can become partners. Good grasp of the characterisation.
‘Rules of Engagement’
On the advice of his mother, a middle-aged man (Noel O’Neill) is about to spring a proposal of marriage to a pleasant woman (Rosalyn Anderson), who unfortunately has a lot of emotional and health problems.
This hilarious comedy made you cringe at the woman and want to jump up on the stage to shake the man into reality. Brilliant.
Whilst walking his dog, a man (Malcolm Douglas) meets his old friend, a solicitor (Aiden Murphy) who writing notes and preparing for his afternoon court case. As they talk, it seems there is a great deal of jealously brewing.
A complete change of genres. Slower pace and with biting venom. Admirable acting and storyline but not likeable.
An arrogant lustful director (James Hagan) has walked out of his Easter liturgical drama audition. With so much involved, reputation and financial, his agent (Rex Gray) is desperately trying to resolve the situation.
A great combination of James and Rex. Another change of style.
These six short plays demonstrate the playwright’s ability to give a variety of snappy stories with brilliant true-to-life dialogue. A most entertaining and quality night out; especially welcome when so few theatres are producing shows.
This production was nearing capacity, but now that the Covid seating numbers have been increased substantially in the past couple of days, you may manage to get a ticket or two for all shows – but rush.
Always good to see James, Perth’s answer to Brian Blessed. Top cast.
This series sets the ‘Bench’mark for short plays.