Friday, May 21, 2010

EVERY SINGLE SATURDAY Reviewed by Bill Stephens

Watchdog Productions.
Tuggeranong Arts Centre,
May 11-15 2010.

It is rarely a good idea for an author to direct their own play, and this production is a very good example of why this is so. Written and directed by Joanna Weinberg, "Every Single Saturday" is a promising idea which explores relationships which develop between four parents who meet every week to cheer on their children at soccer. The show contains some well-written songs and interesting ideas about parenting and body image, which are never really explored, however it requires much slicker and more focused direction than it receives here if it is to reach its full potential.

As presented in its 'world premiere' at the Tuggeranong Arts Centre, with no set and only op. shop costumes and props, "Every Single Saturday" looked and played more like a workshop than a fully realised production.

The talented quartet of Melanie de Ferranti, Sara Grenfell, Matt Young and Geoff Sirmai struggled to find a coherent performance style, vascillating distractingly between realism and broad over-acting, making it difficult to care for the characters, or the issues they were portraying. One of the best songs in the show "Fatty" was destroyed by inappropriate 'choreography', while the unnecessary interval, and superflous, heavy handed, cod-opera finale, did little to help matters.

None-the-less it was refreshing to see an original Australian musical on stage and Tuggeranong Arts Centre's initiative in bringing Joanna Weinberg's "Every Single Saturday" to Canberra is applauded.

An edited version of this review was published in "City News" May 20-26 edition.