Friday, November 28, 2014

DAYLIGHT SAVING by Nick Enright


Director: Adam Cook
Designer: Hugh O’Connor
Lighting Designer: Gavan Swift
Sound designer: Nate Edmondson

Presented by: Darlinghurst Theatre Company,
Eternity Playhouse, 31st October to 30th November

 Reviewed by Bill Stephens

 
Written in 1989 by Nick Enright, “Daylight Saving” is a delightful, well-constructed farce, which retains its freshness and humour in this excellent production by the Darlinghurst Theatre Company.  Director, Adam Cook, has assembled a cracker of a cast who leave no nuance unexplored to do justice to Nick Enright’s clever script.

 
Hugh O’Connor has designed a sunny, cheerful 1980’s setting, beautifully lit by Gavan Swift which he’s complimented with sophisticated and witty costumes which slyly celebrate the period.

Felicity (Rachel Gordon) seemingly has it all. She runs a successful restaurant, her husband Tom (Christopher Stollery) manages the country’s hottest tennis player, Jason Strutt, (Jacob Warner) and together they live in a gorgeous North Shore apartment with stunning views.

However, it’s the last day of daylight saving, Tom is overseas with his tennis player, and has forgotten their wedding anniversary. So Felicity is preparing to have a seemingly innocuous dinner with an old flame visiting from America (Ian Stenlake).  But when earlier in the day she fluffs the answer to a cheeky television interviewer’s question about fidelity, we get the impression that Felicity has a little more than dinner in mind for that evening.

Rachel Gordon (Felicity) and Ian Stenlake (Joshua Makepeace)
However, constant interruptions from her well-meaning, but interfering mother, Bunty,(Belinda Giblin) and her outrageously self-centred next-door neighbour, Stephanie (Helen Dallimore), together with the unexpected return of husband, Tom, provide the perfect set-up for a series of deliciously funny misunderstandings which put paid to any amorous plans Felicity and her dinner-guest may have been hatching.

 
The pacing is slick and secure. The dialogue is liberally scattered with witty one-liners, all perfectly delivered. All the performances are satisfying. Rachel Gordon is outstanding as Felicity, the successful career woman questioning her sense of dissatisfaction with her successful marriage to Tom, (well played by Christopher Stollery), who’s too pre-occupied with his own successful career to notice.
Rachel Gordon (Felicity) Christopher Stollery (Tom)
Jacob Warner (Jason Strutt) 

 Ian Stenlake is impressive as Felicity’s handsome, likeable, opportunistic old flame, always circling for the kill. Belinda Giblin is pure class as Felicity’s twitty, widowed mother, Bunty, and Jacob Warner is terrific as the petulant tennis star Jason Strutt. Helen Dallimore is quite marvellous as the steam-rolling next door neighbour, Stephanie.

 
According to Adam Cook’s program notes “Daylight Saving” is “about loneliness in marriage, and about living in the present but longing for the past”. Perhaps it’s the presence of this deeper intent that causes this delightful play to linger in the memory long after one has left the theatre.

 
Rachel Gordon (Felicity) - back 
Belinda Giblin (Bunty) - Ian Stenlake (Joshua)


This review appears in AUSTRALIAN ARTS REVIEW

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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