Stirling Community Theatre
Until 17 Mar 2018

Review by Maggie Wood

First cab off the rank in the threesome of one act comedies was “Late Entry” by David Tristram.

This great little script was given a good run out by Angela Short as Sarah Raymond/Lisa McTaverty and Jamie Wright as The Adjudicator. Short’s talent cannot be denied, especially her accented tour of the British Isles. Wright was fittingly frustrated and ultimately honest in a role for which, one feels, he has had much preparation!

Play two, “Inspiration” by Kristen Doherty, tracked the wily ways of flatmates to help their writer friend back on track. It doesn’t miss a beat with fun and enthusiastic performances from Tom Liddell, Michael Fazackerley and Yasmine Martin.

Play three, “Last Tango in Little Grimley”, slows the pace somewhat. In a bid to save their amateur dramatics group the Little Grimley Amateur Dramatic Society – all four of them - put on a play to ensure that this time there will be bums on seats.

With the play-within-a-play’s risqué plot, and with characters based on Little Grimley’s actual residents, the fun commences.

Malcolm Walton is Gordon, the would-be playwright looking to save the group. Shelley Hampton is Margaret, the sensible one who has mixed feelings about the requirements of Gordon’s script and Vicki Barrett has a ball as airhead Joyce. John Koch has equal fun as Bernard, the non-acting stage manager and set builder.

The script is somewhat clunky, and with the cast anchored to seats around the meeting table for much of the play an element of dynamism is lost. However the fun does pick up with the rehearsal scenes.

Between the first play and the third two entertainers provide some additional fun. Jon McKay is The Ammusionist – a genial magician whose easy going demeanour belies his skill – and David Salter, ukulele entertainer with a talent for flipping seemingly innocent songs and making apples talk. Salter’s ventriloquism skills are top grade – both technically and with his material. With this much serious talent he really should be on a much larger stage and available to a much wider audience.

The One Act Comedy Spectacular does what it promises – it delivers a night of honest-to-goodness fun far from the Fringing throngs in the city, and it is well worth a trip up the hill to experience it.

Rating: 3 stars (out of 5)

*Jamie Wright is a reviewer for Adelaide Theatre Guide.