‘Debutante Directors’

‘Debutante Directors’ is a trio of short plays, being presented by The Garrick Theatre Club, at the Garrick Theatre, 16 Meadow Street, Guildford.

The two and a quarter hour presentation have curtain up at 7.30 pm on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings until the 22nd of January. The shows have the bargain price of $10 for everyone. The plays’ contents are probably of more interest to audiences of mid-teens and up.

Ticket Link: https://www.trybooking.com/BVVFY    Or call Elaine on 0466-231-145

Tickets a bargain at only $10 each.

Technical designer: Bailey Fellows, with Jade Gurney and Brodie Fowler as the operators

Stage manager: Scott-Leonard Landers assistant stage manager Devlin Turbin

Stage crew Adam Giltrow and Kailem Mollard

‘Aunt Leaf’ is a strange play written by New York playwright and actor, Barbara Wiechmann. I found the atmosphere and writing style reminiscent of ‘Picnic at Hanging Rock’.

Boldly directed by debutantes Adam Giltrow and Kailem Mollard, I had to wonder if these lads were totally mad or up for a major challenge. This is a beautifully written piece that had intricate cross linking of characters. The script was rich, hence difficult for the actors to conquer; having said this, Adam and Kailem succeeded magnificently. The young cast delivered their lines with advanced skills and the play glowed. A special mention of Mason and Ellien’s performances, they had strong drive and kept the pace going.

Annabelle (Ruri Lawrence) is a very quiet 11-year-old girl, who lives in the countryside with her father (Matthew Roberts) and mother (Sophie David). When her aged, Aunt Leaf (Ellien van Heerwaarden) moves in with her family, lonely Annabelle and her rambling aunt form a relationship. Annabelle’s brother, Lucratio (Patryk Smith) and their sister, Hortense (Sami Compton), prefer their own company. Through the vivid nature stories of Aunt Leaf’s late husband, Uncle Leaf – storyteller (Mason Allen) we learn of their life’s struggles.

The most appropriate mood music for Aunt Leaf, was specially composed by WAAPA graduate and debutante Musical Director, Kieran Ridgeway. After viewing the rehearsals and script revisions, Kieran realised that – like the Mona Lisa’s expression – he had to craft and unite a composition, whose score simultaneously created happiness and despair.

The small theatre required the musicians to be in front of the apron, with the conductor in the opposite wings. The conductor managed to find an acceptable balance between the performers singing, their vocal projection and with the instruments’ volume.

The quality band features Leanne Van Heerwaarden (Keyboard), Kristy Hughes (Violin), Kiara Burke (Cello), Kirsty Malcolm (Double Bass), along with conductor Kieran Ridgway on acoustic guitar. 

The make up for Aunt’s face was Mauri like, and the arm, hand and fingers had a bamboo appearance as though nature was taking her over. Nice idea that really worked. Sorry no name to credit.

‘A Tale of Two Spectators’ is a dry comedy, written by American historian, Peter Manos Ph.D.

Directed with plenty of fun by Roxanne Moore, the two highly experienced cast members had great chemistry and got every ounce of fun out of the script. A most satisfying production. Roxi has years of involvement ‘backstage’ – congrats on being so good in the driving seat.

A middle-aged man (Christopher Steicke) is seated on a park bench, looking through his binoculars at the park’s wildlife. After a couple of minutes, he is joined by a married woman (Fiona Forster), the same lass that he has been meeting every Wednesday for months. Their intense nature studies continue to progress.

‘Don’t Fear The Reaper’ was written by Professor Eddie Zipperer, an American political columnist and university lecturer.

Directed by Matthew Roberts, this madcap comedy requires a certain type of comedy delivery – by the whole cast. So often, zany humour is let down by one tardy actor who ruins the pace, but this troupe were on the ball, bouncing the lines perfectly to each other. Well done Matthew, it worked beautifully, the audience loved it. The little extras like Death strumming his bass guitar – the scythe.

On his first task of the day, the Grim Reaper (Steve Moloney) is seen on the doorstep of a young married couple. The husband Robert (Jason Jones) and his wife Jessica, who is a TV anchor girl (Carly Ranger) each realise that for their partner – or even themselves – the end has come. Knowing that death is on their doorstep, they try to lure the other into opening the door and thus being cursed.

                Next on the Reaper’s list is Steve (Kyren Cleave). Steve’s soul seems like a routine reaping at first, but ultimately presents a problem unseen for 40,000 years. In his mediocrity, Steve has reached a perfect balance on the scale of good and evil and must choose his own fate on ‘The Fating Game’, where God (Adam Giltrow) and gorgeous Satan (Ellien van Heerwaarden in her second play of the trio) compete for his soul.

                God is not impressed and so Jeremy (Kailem Mollard), formerly the grim reaper of insects is promoted to people reaper. Donnie Destiny (Natalia Smith) is added as a new temptation and assistant to the reaper. Which way will Steve, the old reaper, go?

Three very different plays all well-rehearsed and delightfully presented. A really good night out at the theatre.