Review by Anina-Marie & Kieran J. Evans
Javeenbah Theatre’s latest production is a wonderful amalgamation of snippets from three original local works. Featuring Gillian Crow’s Seascape, Kellie Silver’s Class of ’85 and Lia Hope #BeautyWars, this is a night out at the theatre not to be missed. Each piece unique and original delivered by fabulously gifted performers, One Act Wonders is delightful.
Written and directed by Gillian Crow this show is an insight to cruise life post covid. Featuring all the typical ‘new normal’ protections and preventative measures. Seascape follows three women as they bond at the on-board Sketch & Sip activity; discussing the trials and tribulations of romance in an era of confusion and discontent.
Claire Thorne is excellent as the artist leading the Sketch & Sip session; linking and guiding the other two characters through their journey. Claire portrays this character with aplomb, weaving a narrative of ex-pats that are ever roaming. Claire’s ability to draw the audience into this character with her subtle style makes her the standout of this piece.
Stefanie Schilowski portrays a woman searching for an excuse to consume alcohol during the day; unflappable and eager to psychoanalyse her newfound companions over a glass of white. Stefanie’s performance feels authentic. She delivers a skilled performance.
Megan Frenner portrays a young, married woman taking a break from her husband with her lover. She soon finds herself unhappy with her lover, regretful about her rash decision and keen to repair her relationship. Megan’s performance is as amusing as the character is scatterbrained. Megan is wonderfully awkward, yet honest in this role.
Class of ‘85
This marvellous piece directed Amy-Louise Anderson, and written by local Kellie Silver, demonstrates a remarkably gripping interlude between a group of former friends coming back to their childhood roots for an event they see very little of. With twists and turns and drunken escapades, these five folks stumble through life’s obstacles both old and new. Well, they’re not that old. Jeez.
Jon Turley plays the bad-boy-surfer turned family man, apologising profusely to former girlfriends and flings. Yet somehow still radiating a level of cool we could all only hope to attain. Jon’s performance is excellent from start to finish. Bravo Brisbane looks forward to seeing how this character evolves.
Jocelyn Moore-Carter portrays a sarcastic, yet adjusted character. Moore-Carter’s witty quips are well timed and delivered with great effect. Michelle McWhirter plays a psychologist who was previously infatuated with a mysterious injured classmate. This character prompts the confessional nature of the piece and ties the cast together. Michelle’s performance is well-executed and polished.
Naomi Thompson is the absolute standout of Class of ‘85 who runs linguistic rings around her peers. She’s able to deliver both extremely funny, comedic lines as well as heart wrenching moments in her skilled dance between light and dark. Her portrayal feels authentic and resonates with the audience. No dry eyes here from Bravo Brisbane!
Simon Bennett’s character is every bit the nerd of the group, always trying to keep up with his peers, and convince himself (and others) that he also used to be a sexual dynamo in his heyday. His monologue of repentance and pain for his fellow friends is succinct and moving, another great performer in this piece.
Just kidding. You’ll have to go see the show to understand the joke!
In this piece, writer Lia Hope shines a light on the sometimes toxic environment of online beauty bloggers. The strength of this piece lies in connecting aspects of the bloggers’ personal lives to their success online. Hope gives audiences a unique behind-the-lens glimpse of the very real, very serious emotional worlds of these characters.
Lawson Schafer and Emma Stratton filled the roles of The Ghosts of Discontinued Products and Tay Tay’s two besties (using puppets). Lawson and Emma both deliver excellent work in these rolls. Providing some well-timed comedic relief and adding a meta-layer to the stage action. The team work between these two is just brilliant. Bravo!
Jessica Hunter as Tay Tay plays the privileged, well-established, vegan beauty blogger with access to all of the latest designer products and the best camera and sound equipment. This highlights the role of beauty bloggers that push “price is no barrier” to the detriment of the average makeup user. Jessica plays this role with absolute perfection and dedication.
Cassie Baan’s Maddie is an outcast teenage girl who uses makeup to escape from her parents’ impending divorce. She scrounges every last cent of her allowance to buy makeup products from Priceline and creates a beauty blog that caters to budget conscious viewers. A must for those of us who cannot afford Kylie Jenners Lip Kit! Cassie is equal parts hilarious, awkward, and loveable, and the standout actor in this production. She navigates the character’s emotional rollercoaster with skill.
The fact that both Cassie and Jessica are able to apply makeup whilst dead-on facing the audience without a mirror is astonishing and, quite honestly, witchcraft. Bravo!
Overall, Javeenbah Theatre’s One Act Wonders is an amazing celebration of new, original work. The theatre company should be congratulated for giving writers this opportunity to showcase their work. These three shows all bring something unique to the table and make this production a fun night out for anyone who loves the theatre.
One Act Wonders will play at Javeenbah Theatre Company until 30 July 2022. Tickets on sale here.