Flying Penguin Productions
Bakehouse Theatre
Until 25 Sep 2021

Review by Ross Johnston

Last night I watched a powerful performance of Glengarry Glen Ross at the Bakehouse Theatre. This play has it all. Powerful, strong men competing to survive in the “shady realm” of real estate in Chicago where losers get fired and winners reap the benefits. Where winning at all costs is the norm and duping the public into investing in “beautiful sites” in Arizona or Florida the goal. Mixed in with this level of intensity and competition are “lighter” moments which enable to audience to share a laugh or two.

The play opens in a booth in a Chinese restaurant where we meet the Real Estate team in three separate “mini-scenes”. The first is a meeting between Shelley, one of the agents, played by Rory Walker, and John, the ruthless and opportunistic Office Manager played by Bill Allert. The second is a discussion between another two agents. The hapless George played by Nicholas Garsden and the domineering Dave played by Christopher Pitman who plot ways to “win.” The final is a meeting between Richard Roma, the leading salesman played outstandingly by Mark Saturno and a potential client (Sucker) James, played by James Wardlaw.

Then the scene is transformed in under a minute into the Real Estate Office which was handled by the cast in a well-oiled process which was very well done. There had been a robbery and the files containing the “Leads” are gone. An officious Detective played by very effectively by Chris Asimos is interviewing all the agents to ascertain who committed the crime. During this tense situation Rory announces success while Roma is foiled unwittingly by John. There are two twists in the plot. One which I think was “karma” and the other totally unexpected.

I rate this play highly as all the players performed their roles superbly. My only criticism was that sometimes their accents and the speed of delivery, especially by Rory in the opening scene, made it hard to understand. Before we entered there was a posted warning patrons of coarse language contained in the play. Yes! There was coarse language, but it is an adult themed play and I was not offended at all and I thought it made the play more believable.

If you want to experience 95 minutes of high-powered drama blended with humour then this is the play for you.