Adelaide Theatre Guide Review
A first-class British comedy script provides the basis for a good
production? Not always, but it certainly does for Galleon Theatre's
"Absurd Person Singular".
Director Margaret Dixon has taken a great script, a cast
of six excellent actors and a simple and effective set to provide a great
Alan Ayckbourn's script from the 1970s is a little dated
very witty as the foibles of three married couples are ruthlessly
exposed in three separate Christmas Eve parties.
The first act is a scene setter, the second act is a
scene-stealer and the third is just plain silly - and lots of fun.
In the first act young couple Sidney and Jane Hopcroft
Clark and Kerry Cooper) decide to entertain with a Christmas Eve party
for carefully selected guests. Follow-up parties result in the next two
The clever twist is that this play is set in the kitchen
each party. The social façade is stripped and warts and all
the intimate setting of the kitchen, while the party limps along in the
neighbouring rooms. The results are hilarious, even in their darkest
Joanne St Clair is delicious as the drunken, malicious
Brewster-Wright who slips easily from shallow small talk to malicious
cracks. Jack Robins also provides a strong performance as her husband,
Ronald. His "electric shock" sequence is one of the hilarious
highlights of many during the night.
Some of the more poignant moments, and yet still
humorous, are provided by young actors George Benders and Hannah
Wooller as Geoffrey and Eve Jackson. It is a testament to these actors'
skill that the pathos and humour are both so powerfully conveyed.
Andrew Clark and Kerry Cooper are given the challenging
playing the unpopular and shallow couple Sidney and Jane Hopcroft. They
cleverly convey an awkward sweetness that adds to the joie de vivre of
The set is simple, cleverly doing its job of adding to
the characterization and action.
Galleon Theatre Group is sailing home with a winner with
Ayckbourne seventies classic at the Marion Culture Centre. Please note
that audience members can sit in cabaret style tables at the front of
the theatre or choose to sit in rows at the back.
Reviewed by STEPHANIE JOHNSON
Messenger Press Review
Despite generating big laughs, this is no lightweight play.
Darker than the average kitchen sink drama, Alan
seventies comedy is an inspired look at matrimonial failure and social
Set in the kitchens of three couples taking turns to
Christmas drinks over successive years, it is more farcical and
desolate than other Ayckbourn comedies.
Director Margaret Dixon does a fine job with a
Most notable in her excellent cast are the lanky Andrew
the up-and-coming builder Sidney, whose wife Jane (Kerry Cooper) is a
ridiculously compulsive cleaner.
Joanne St Clair is superbly theatrical as the alcoholic
Marion, wife of a hopelessly obtuse banker (Jack Robins).
And Hannah Wooller is the picture of despair as the
suicidal wife of the philandering architect (George Blanders).
The garish seventies set design by Stan Fairfield and
Max Bowden is another big star of the show.
Reviewed by NICK CARROLL