A bombshell hits Z-PAC Theatre
THERE will be Bombshells in ZPAC Theatre come June, but don't panic, it's a play.
Written by Australian Joanne Murray-Smith, Bombshells was first staged in Melbourne featuring the world renowned diva Caroline O'Connor.
ZPAC's production is in the capable hands of director Theresa Saunders, assistant director Stuart Waters and stage manager Suzi Geddes, together with the company's lighting and sound technicians Jeff Sweeney and Michael Doherty.
I was invited to a rehearsal three weeks from opening and had the time of my life.
The play consists of six scenes, each with its own balance of comedy and drama and each a vehicle for what are, in my opinion, six amazing performances.
In each scene a blend of fun and self-appraisal is wonderfully portrayed by its actor.
Each is a self-assessment of female emotion set against society expectation.
It's an intelligent, revealing comedy clearly written and acted to perfection.
I, a mere male, learned a lot while having a laugh.
Saunders and Waters are theatre savvy and it seems to me that each of the players crafted their stage personas mentored by them.
Each character is a compound of talent, experience and reality.
First up is Katie O'Neill as Meryl. Meryl is Glen Campbell's everyday housewife who gave up the good life.
O'Neill is hilarious. Frenetic and self-effacing, she frequently raises the comedic blind to reveal the real state of things.
Annabelle Stuart is Tiggy where we, the audience, are a group of cacti lovers (don't worry you will stay put in your seat).
Speaking to us, Stuart teases out the humour with her nervous disposition to public speaking about cacti and then switches to pure monologue revealing inner feelings of anger.
Sarah Callander, a young fit and frenetic actor, plays Mary an equally adept schoolgirl whose ambition knows no bounds.
She tells us about it in no uncertain terms. She sings, dances and emotes like a politician at question time.
By this time it's interval and I'm encouraging the actors to drink their coffee. I can't wait to see the second act.
Act Two opens with Rebecca Lowe playing Theresa, a bride on her wedding day.
She explodes onto the stage (here's a bombshell!) and finishes dressing.
Lowe is graceful and attractive, a delightful
actor, displaying with humour her doubts about matrimony.
Any girl in the audience getting married next weekend should go to the foyer until the next scene.
Rolling in the aisles (or perhaps the hay) laughs, loud and many, came with Louise Fantinel's performance as Winsome, a widow of a certain age.
No spoilers from me but the humour of the vignette developed from rolling eyes to rolling in the aisles.
This previewer had to recharge his pacemaker.
Fantinel is a mature, schooled actor.
Winsome needed her talent and got it.
The final scene concerns the recovery and comeback of Zoe, an entertainer.
Katanee Draheim successfully acts, sings and belts out the role, while the five previous exemplars become her audience. Draheim has an impressive stage presence.
Finally, a nice segue piece was the handover at the end of each scene of a silk-like floral scarf from each protagonist to the next.
And, for those with attention to detail, there's a similar bit of business by our six heroines in each scene. See if you can spot it.
Performances will be held on Friday, May 31, June 7 and 14, Saturday, June 1, 8 and 15, 7.30pm. Matinees will be held on Saturday, June 8 and 15 and Sunday, June 2, 9 and 16, 2pm.
Tickets are $27.50 for an adult, concession $22, student $16.50.