Venue: Old Fitzroy Theatre (Woolloomooloo NSW), Mar 4 – 22, 2014
Playwrights: Victoria Greiner, Sarah Hodgetts, Andy Leonard
Directors: Deborah Jones, Sean O’Riordan
Actors: Victoria Greiner, Sarah Hodgetts, Andy Leonard
Image by Katy Green Loughrey
It is probably true that a show cannot contain too many amusing ideas. Tidy Town Of The Year has no shortage of amusing lines and concepts, but trying to keep up and absorb them all can be challenging. Its writing and direction lack breathing space, often making the show feel overwhelming. Timing is key in humour. Even with clever and inspired ideas, attention needs to be paid on editing and delivery for communication to happen, especially in comedies.
In spite of these imperfections, performances are actually polished and confident. It is a fast-paced show, with a cast that is full of enthusiasm and buoyancy. We may not always catch the jokes that they attempt to relay, but their energy can be infectious. More variation in tone could be explored to prevent the actors from playing at the one level that they are most comfortable with, but their overall commitment to the work is a delight.
At heart, this is a show with a great deal of eccentricity, but the eccentric is by nature an entity that finds connections challenging. It has the capacity for brilliance and originality, but to convey its genius, a bridge needs to be found. In the theatre, ideas are exchanged and laughs can be shared, but only when the linkage between show and audience is established. This isn’t always easy, but the quest for it is always rewarding.