Directed by Peter Houghton
Boxing Day Productions
Q Theatre, Queanbeyan to 5 September 2015
Review by Len Power 4 September 2015
In ‘Reserved Seating Only’, you know where it’s going as soon as it starts but the fun is in seeing how it gets there. Two unlikely spectators sit next to each other at a Melbourne football match. He is a rabid footy fan who has probably never missed a game in his life while she is attending her first match using the ticket she got in a divorce settlement from her husband. Her total lack of knowledge and interest in the game mystifies and annoys him and his macho Aussie behaviour is a total turn-off for her. It’s just what you need for a good romantic comedy.
Husband and wife actors, David Ross Paterson and Cecelia Specht, play the spectators very well. The characters are close to caricature but both actors add considerable depth to the people they’re playing, especially in the body language they display. We sure can identify with them!
Director, Peter Houghton, has produced a tight, well-paced production which plays for exactly an hour without interval. He’s made sure that all the humour in the script is up there on the stage but he doesn’t allow it to fall over into cliché. The interaction with audience members as the play commenced and especially during the half-time of the football match was especially well-done and very funny. There were also some very well-timed belly laughs in the show. You’ll probably never look at an Aussie meat pie in quite the same way again.
The simple set and clever lighting plot added to the atmosphere of the show as did Patrick Sarell’s original score.
It’s always a bit of a shock to see ourselves as others see us but that’s the fun in seeing an Australian play like this. ‘Reserved Seating Only’ is light and amusing, but also thought-provoking entertainment. Who needs to go to the footy?
Len Power’s reviews are also broadcast in the ‘Artcetera’ program on Artsound FM 92.7 on Saturdays from 9am.