’One Act Season’ comprises three short plays presented by The Irish Players. There are two locally written comedies and one intense drama/comedy by Harold Pinter. This gives first-time actors, directors, and stage crew the opportunity to perform in front of a live audience.
This ideal selection is presented by The Irish Theatre Players playing at Irish Club of WA, Townsend Road in Subiaco. The evening shows are at 7.30 on Thursday 14th, Friday 15th, Saturday 16th, Thursday 21st, and Friday 22nd July. One matinée on Sunday 17th at 2.00 pm
Set Design and construction: Mainly a room/cellar with matte black walls.
Props: Claire Wynne, Tallan Chappell, and casts have supplied the beds, kitchen units, and chaise longue.
Costumes: Kirstyn Harron
Lighting Design and Operation: Mark Tilly, Joe Teakle, and Josie Hacking
Sound design and operation: Josie Hacking
Stage management: Seán Byrne
‘Dilate’ is a wonderful comedy written by the award-winning scriptwriter, Yvette Wall.
Like many mothers, Marnie (Nikitta Poplar) wants a home birth – the perfect water birth for her perfect child. Now that the contractions have started things begin to crumble! Lying on a chaise longue in the middle of the sitting room, her world is about to change. Perhaps her older sister Bec (Riane Lake) can assist Jude the midwife when she arrives, but Bec begins to recall her child’s delivery. Young Kirsten (Juliett Greenock) is a much calmer support, but then the doors open, and her domineering mother Pauline (Sharon Menzies) and loveable but eccentric, Polish Gran (Kerry Goode) arrive on the scene. Gran has come prepared with advanced equipment. Quite a few family secrets pour out, everyone is fed-up, then Bec has a great idea – a pizza will cheer everyone, but they did not reckon on pizza boy Micko (Jason Wall).
Director Dale James who has won several major awards over the years has hit gold again. This play has beautiful natural uproarious dialogue and has the most wonderful observation of most families at 9 months of pregnancy. Yvette has also layered the story and worked in two or three clever extra ideas. The actors were all amazing, most convincing in their suffering and interaction of family members. Dale has guided this hilarious play into what is bound to be a best seller for Yvette, both in this theatre and community theatres around the world.
‘The Dumb Waiter’ is a tense enigmatic drama written by Harold Pinter in 1960.
We meet two men in a downstairs room, with no windows and the furnishings are simply two camp beds. One is an impatient Scotsman, Gus (Shivas Lindsay) but with a little hint of dry humour. The other, a Londoner, Ben (Adrian Mills) is a cool man who peacefully sits on his bed reading a Daily Express. We learn that they have worked together for years. Could they be assassins? As they await their instructions and quarry, a dumb waiter – a food lift – arrives in a wall recess from the floor above, carrying a written request.
What is their true reason for being there?
Tadhg Lawrence is a wonderful director. He never chooses a straightforward play, always one with a challenge which he directs immaculately with his particular skills. As this is a two-hander, the cast must be far better than average. Taking a slight risk, Tadhg selected Adrian Mills who has not performed for almost 7 years – wow was he chilling? This Irishman with a strong Irish accent produced a faultless London accent. Then Shivas has shown his fine comedic skills in a couple of Irish shows, but can he be accepted as a hired killer? Definitely. The two actors were magnificent together.
During a fracas on the stage, Shivas fell off the apron onto the auditorium’s wooden floor, a metre below. The audience gasped but he was back acting in seconds. Perhaps I should not mention that Shivas makes a living as a safety officer.
Glad this play was placed just after a mad comedy and not as first play off the rank. A fine piece of theatre.
‘‘The Plan’ is a very funny new comedy by local playwright and Irish Theatre Players’ hero, Seán Byrne.
Marie (Denice Byrne – Finley winner) is sitting at the dining room table, chatting to her daughter Kate (Samantha Melia). With her husband down at the pub, Marie thinks it is a suitable time to bring up a complicated piece of paperwork, with lots of questions for her husband to complete. Kate laughs and says that she will never manage to get her dad to fill in any forms – ever! Marie says that is why they must do it for him now, whilst he is out.
Just as the girls are starting to complete the pages of details, Marie’s best friend, Marian (Pamela Allen Chang) arrives and is willing to give good advice. What will her husband have to say?
This is a first time as a director for Stan O’Neill. With a dozen acting parts under his belt, he thought he would tackle directing. In this play, Stan and Seán have given the audience a few visually funny breaks away from the form filling, which is guaranteed to bring a smile. A simple little play with plenty of amusing lines.
Three very good plays. A most enjoyable night out. Catch it while you can on its short season.