Noarlunga Theatre Company
Port Noarlunga Arts Centre
Until 14 Apr 2019

Review by Luke Wagner

The farce is one of the theatre world’s most challenging type of comedies to stage. They require a cracking pace, snappy dialogue and strong ensemble skills. Noarlunga Theatre Company have taken on a script that requires all of these things, and for the most part, delivers the goods.

Norman is a seemingly average man who happens to have the ability to charm three different women, one being his wife and the others being his sisters-in-law. This show isn’t as much about Norman not letting anyone find out, but seeing who cares about his indiscretions. His wife is no longer fazed because she knows he can’t do better, and the others have better prospects on the boil too.

The story was at times difficult to follow. It took a majority of the first half to establish clear relationships between each of the characters and understand who is related to whom and who knows about what. Overall the pace was the issue – there were lots of drawn-out pauses where the action needed to power along.

The cast clearly had fun with their roles. Eryn Kralj was consistent and charming as Annie, Norman’s younger sister-in-law who was planning a romantic weekend away with him. Kralj needs to take the time to connect with her scene partners to ensure they remain in the moment together. Daniel Steele as Norman was oddly charming and provided some good laughs throughout. Chris Stansfield as Reg was hilariously oblivious to the goings-on around him and was well controlled by Linda Lawson as his frustrated wife Sarah, who was fun to watch.

Celia Latty-Steele as Norman’s domineering wife Ruth and Nathaneal Bayliss as the socially awkward vet Tom were the standout performers of the night. Latty-Steele made a late entrance in act two, but owned the stage and played for laughs. Bayliss was charming and hilarious as he misread the situation with almost everyone and was absolute fun to watch.

Bronwyn Calvett has done a stunning job as set designer. The garden looked bright and lively and set the tone beautifully for the show to unfold. Fiona Cordell’s scenic art was a beautiful backdrop to the show too.

Overall this was a fun evening of well-produced local theatre. Once the cast warm up and pick up the speed, this show will be a fun, witty farce that is sure to please audiences.