‘The Naked Truth’ is an intimate comedy, described as being ‘The Calendar Girls’ go pole dancing. Written by Salford born TV playwright, Dave Simpson in 2015 – the style seems older – it captures a village’s atmosphere and mentality very well. Some of the one-liners and the asides had the audience chortling throughout.
The play is being staged by the Kalamunda Dramatic Society (www.kadstheatre.com.au/buy-tickets), in the KADS Theatre, 6 Central Mall in Kalamunda. This two and a quarter hour show has curtain up at 7.30 each night from the 12th to the 27th November 2021, although there are VERY few seats left most nights being sold out.
Scene: 2020 in a village hall in the blue collar, Manchester area of England.
Set: Design and construction by Peter Bloor and Martin Dorman gave us a realistic and typical ‘tired’ hall, with two doors leading into the room.
Lighting and sound: Mark Ramsey, Gabriel Ferrari and Anita Bound shared the operating with a huge number of cues for the effects and mood lighting.
Pole management: Tony Shelsher has setup the quality modern poles to be self-supporting.
Stage manager and props: Lesley Broughton as efficient as ever. There are several chairs against the rear wall, next to a drinks (water) trolley. The wall has a full noticeboard.
Programme: Very well designed by Fi Livings, with photos by Dominic Ferrari.
The village hall starts to fill up as six ladies arrive for their night class – Pole dancing! An athletic young pole dancing instructor, Gabby (Faye Godfrey) moves to the front of the stage and explains, ‘you should have seen them 6 weeks ago!’
A slightly chubby girl, who has ‘been around a bit’, Bev (Roxanne O’Connor) is exhausted within seconds; whilst her new friend, Faith (Charlotte Weber) possibly the oldest member of the group, has no experience of love and even less understanding of English language.
A middle-aged, insecure, and very shy lady, Sarah (Colleen Bradford) creeps in almost unnoticed, closely followed by a strong character with years of street cred, Rita (Kirstie Francis). The group is just starting to have the pole techniques explained by Gabby, when a blissfully happily married woman, who has an unfortunate habit of saying exactly what she thinks – without any brain filter – Trish (Sarah House) enters, flaunting her body.
Can any of these women possibly get past stage one of the course without traumas?
The play is typical of those written by a TV scriptwriter. With the complete cast on stage for the whole play – the writer is accustomed to instant TV editing, that allows the viewer to jump from one scene or venue to another. This play was broken down into around ten 15-minute units, with a 5-second break each time. That broke the flow slightly, but did not upset the play’s mood, emotion or tension.
Directed sensitively by Anita Bound, this play captured the friendships, the heartbreaks and the arduous and strenuous suffering. Each cast member was blessed with a well-written dialogue that perfectly fitted their character. There are plenty of laughs and gasps. The gasps were partly due to the fruity language normally only heard in the bedroom, or to the bitchy comments of a couple of dancers. The pace was very good; often, with several players interacting in a scene, it can cause uncomfortable silences as each actor decides if this is their turn to speak. This team were flawless.
Choreography by Faye Godfrey, who is a genuine pole instructor, has certainly put the actors through the hoops, by taking the cast well outside their comfort zones.
The lycra wardrobe by Kristie Francis, with the upmarket smart wear by the cast, topped off the show.
A really fun show, not a lot of surprises but the comedy was delivered by a top notch cast and the guidance of a strong director. Catch it if you can.