Printable CopyTHE THEATRICAL THREESOME
Venture Theatre Company
Marino Community Hall
Until 21 Aug 2021

Review by Luke Wagner

Over the last 12 months, the South Australian theatre community have proven one thing for certain: they are a resilient bunch. Venture Theatre Company’s resilience was on full display as they presented a delayed opening night just a mere 72 hours after the state lockdown ended by staging a completely COVID-safe performance of “The Theatrical Threesome”.

This presentation of three one-act plays was helmed entirely by three women of Venture who were all making their directorial debut.

First up is “All By Myself”, directed by Shelley Carman. Marooned alone on an island, Lanny finds that she is not as alone as she first thought when a community of castaways gatecrash her life after eight years in solitude. Soon she discovers the human contact she so desperately wanted was not all it cracked up to be.

Carman’s cast set the pace for the evening exceptionally and produce a hilarious piece of theatre. Olivia Richardson as Lanny is ridiculous and over the top and perfectly balanced by Emma Kinlock as castaway Pemberton whose enthusiasm and passion for island life is palpable. Lucy Marshallsay as Miller, James Hanna as Nicholson and Jordan Klaassen-Jones round out the ensemble perfectly as the rest of the bizarre weirdos living on the island. The attention to detail from Marshallsay’s wooden glasses to Kinlock and Klaassen-Jones’ firewood stealing was excellent. The show was very well presented. Carman proves herself a highly capable director.

Next up was “Fourteen” directed by Leanne Albers who transformed the stage from the marooned island to the spectacular dining room of Mrs Pringle.

Mrs Pringle is presenting her eligible daughter Elaine to a gentleman coming to her dinner party, but disaster strikes when the guest list begins to rapidly change putting a great deal of pressure on poor butler Dunham.

Kristy Mundy is sensational, stunning, and commanding as the lady of the house Mrs Pringle, and Olivia Richardson trades in her tattered castaway clothes for a beautiful golden gown. Both women deliver brilliant performances and understand the nuance of a farce perfectly. Lorren Gartland as Butler Dunham has some excellent facials and drives the level of panic perfectly through the piece.

The set comprising of the massive dining table did tend to force actors to deliver lines with their back to the audience in the large hall, but it was almost worth it to see the stunning costumes from all angles. Albers has presented a well-played farce for her debut.

Closing out the evening was “Scary Weekend” directed by Jo Bell. A group of teenagers arrive for a scary weekend that they have all won from a variety of magazines. When the door locks them in, their scary weekend truly kicks in with strange arms, oozing blood and rapidly changing temperatures tormenting them. Bell has cleverly set the show in the 90s keeping with its original production with the company.

This cast is the most diverse and feature two members of Venture’s youth theatre program, Zoe Battersby and Carter Mundy who both hold their own on stage with their experienced co-stars. Battersby In particular is effervescent and has a scream made for horror films. Nicole Yeardley as Mel was hilarious and gave total 90s throwback vibes. Catherine Clark as Jody and James Hanna as Nick round out the cast well.

This show had lots of scene changes to represent the passage of time that did need a little tightening up, but the highlights here were the clever special effects from the slamming door to the very effective blood dripping down the walls.

Over the three shows lighting needed a little speeding up with the first show leaving the actor in the dark slightly too long. All three directors worked well on the set too which was completely transformed each time the curtains opened transporting the audience to another world.

It’s such a pleasure to be back in the theatre and to see such passionate actors and directors producing high quality theatre.

Luke Wagner is a former committee member of Venture Theatre Company