Fresh from his tour de force, “Marooned” where he lifts the lid on suicide, (still playing and also doing regional touring) Michael Gray Griffin has penned another smash hit that portrays the female archetypes of our time. A tragi-comedy, this will have you howling with both laughter and sadness or discomfort.
You get to the last part of your life after failed relationships and disappointments in our ageist society, and you could lose your house.
Who are you becoming and who do you profess to be?
How do you deal with betrayal and the terror of letting go of what you know? Are you too afraid to hold on and too afraid to let go?
Towards the end of your life, you understand the meaning of life. How does that go down in our materialistic, silo society when wish to share your wisdom?
What does surrender have to do with love?
Modifying that line from Tim Robbins in ‘the Shawshank Redemption’, do we get busy living or stay busy dying?
Simultaneously, we’re accosted with society’s cruelty in taking away women’s sovereignty over selfhood. From our bodies to our minds.
Michael Gray Griffin is that rare playwright who can write female dialogue that pierces our hearts. He also pinpoints what ails us as a society.
Rohana Hayes is the desiccated mother we all know. Hayes is marvelous in this challenging role of weary, angry, frozen resentment of life who surrenders to hope and movement. Every fibre of her body makes her dilemma real to the audience. She commands the stage with her powerful portrayal. Her transformation begins with a trip to a music festival that unblocks her stolid resignation. We witness the beginning of her healing when she dances – the movement has begun.
Angelique Malcolm is her friend who is about to have her world disintegrate, and is confronted with betrayal, loss of identity, sensuality, and possibility. Her acting is both subtle and potent – her eyes convey everything and her voice masters anything. She shows us her terror, her defenses, and her openness to escape.
Yvonne Matthew is the grandmother who has morphed from a judgmental, withholding scrooge to a Shirley Temple vitality, or at least the consistent positivity of Olivia Newton John. She is a pocket rocket of believability and grace as she enables us to share her convictions. She brings a delightful sense of wonder and joy in her acting.
Rebecca Ann Bentley is the youngest cast member and has nailed the ennui, belligerence, and wistful longing of the daughter. Her facial expressions and mannerisms are priceless.
This play is very funny, touching, sad, and uplifting. The actors work beautifully together, and we recognize elements of our family, and ourselves in their sensitive work.
The play is currently at the KEW COURT HOUSE, a charming venue for such an intimate theatre experience. It’s on next week, and you can get a great dinner or coffee at QPO next door.
KEW COURT HOUSE,
Kew Courthouse Theatre
188 High St, Kew VIC 3101
23rd Jan-1st Feb