Kalamunda here I come

‘Kalamunda, Here I Come’ is the latest hilarious offering from Cork born, WAAPA lecturer, Noel O’Neill. Award winning playwright Noel’s works are a guarantee of a fun night at the theatre. This true to life, Three-Act play is being presented by the Kalamunda Dramatic Society, in the KADS Theatre, Town Square, Barber Street, Kalamunda. The 100-minute shows have curtain up at 8.00 pm nightly until Saturday 3rd March. Scene: A working class home in Northside, Dublin about 1999. The set: The combined kitchen, dining room and sitting room is painted cream, with a green dado frieze. The walls have a mix of photos of relatives and several religious. There is a solid set of oak chairs and table. Across the room is a three seater sofa. Noel O’Neill, Bill Weighell and Geoff Rumsey have produced a true to life home of the day. The lighting and sound were designed and operated by Mark Ramsey and John Spurling.

Lulu (Eimear Baylor) is nurse, who has her own flat across the road from her parents. Standing on the stage apron she introduces us to her relations. Her stubborn father who is always right, Daddy Paddy (Gerry Grogan) is a local bus driver; her well-loved granddad (Stanley O’Neill) sadly lives in the past. Her loving Mammy (Denice Byrne – moving performance) is highly religious, and spends half her day adoring the Pope, the other half she spends trying to encourage her lazy ‘runt of the litter’ son, Charlie (Ultan Keily) to find a job – a dreaded thought.

Into the room walks Davey (Connor Rice) who is a suave, hardworking lad with an eye for the women. Another son, Billy (Brian O’Donovan) is focused on one thing only – becoming famous as a comedian – although at the moment, as he shows with his family audience try-outs, he is failing badly. Then there is poor pedantic Mikey (Nathan Holland) slightly dim, mixed with his young teenager’s hormones, a deadly mix.

Two of the children have announcements to make that will upset their parents.

If you are an immigrant from the British Isles, you will love this laugh a minute play. Every character has a richly written and very different personality. This play should become a training manual of how to build personalities into a play. Although there are different levels of acting skills (so the pace was slightly off), every single actor embraced and inhabited their character, giving the play their everything. First time director, Caroline McDonnell has been very well admired for her acting skills at the Irish Theatre Club, and has been nominated for awards. Caroline has played madcap humour and tragic drama; and here she has competently managed to pass on her skills to the cast. A very good first directorship. This play is one of Noel’s funniest for years, but sadly KADS had one of its poorest audience attendances. Everyone there REALLY enjoyed themselves, with laugh out loud humour every couple of minutes, and some real depth performances. Highly recommended but only a couple of nights left.