If Comedy is all about timing, this show needs to take a breath.
Whilst I believe Darlinghurst and PWA have made a brilliant choice in backing Brown’s work and that she is an exciting and relevant voice in contemporary Australian making, Silent Night, and the direction and design it received through this production is completely overbaked.
Brown and Glynn take us on a funny journey of Christmas, consumerism, Catholicism the Occult and the end of the world. The Lickfolds are a conservative family, hankering for 1st place in the annual ARCE decoration awards. They’ve tried and tried but this is going to be THEIR year. If only their goth son could get on board, and a certain, unexpected Dark visitor would stop stuffing around with their electricity. Will they win the day? For me – no.
The production, with Glynn Nicholas at the directing helm, is entertaining and I believe the direction, acting and design are all executed according to the director’s wishes. However, both the script and the production have too many moments of ‘look at me, aren’t I clever’, that I was left begging for a moment of pause, a genuine shift in the playing style, or even a genuine moment. Sadly, I was left begging.
The creatives on the project are all unquestionably talented, however, the alchemy of the piece and production have them competing for ‘most talented’. In turn, the piece becomes an exhausting marathon with few lovely moments – EG – the continued search for a single kiss between the husband and wife was a lovely motif.
The script itself brings up so many interesting points about contemporary Australia, but it doesn’t know which to settle on. Because of this, I’m left still confused about what the ‘take away’ message was meant to be.
All in all, it was a fun-ish night out, but missed the opportunity to be a truly stand-out production and, impactful script.
Also – a tip to the director and/or casting – If the script continuously references the fact that their son is 33, and you cast the mother as someone who looks 45, you’ve failed. There are an incredible range of actors of age in Sydney. There’s no excuse for this agest casting. Do better. This is not a reflection on Amanda Bishop in any way for she, in fact, is the powerhouse and glue of the show.
Nick Webber Theatre Now & On The Town
10 Nov – 10 Dec 2017
Tue – Sat: 7.30pm
Saturday Matinees: 2 & 9 December at 3pm 2017
Venue: Eternity Playhouse
Theatre Company: Darlinghurst Theatre