Saturday, March 26, 2011

'Auntie Mame' - a brief review by Malcolm Miller

I write in tribute to Andrea Close, who has, over some years, brought me a great deal of with her acting in a number of notable performances. 

'Auntie Mame' , from Free Rain Theatre Company, is at the Courtyard Studio from Friday March 25 to Sunday April 10.  Andrea, one of a cast of sixteen, gave a star performance as Mame in a show that's perhaps more familiar as the musical, "Mame'. 

This is a 'feel-good' show, and there are laughs and humour which contrast nicely with the hard times of the Depression which cast down many of the characters.  It's quite lengthy, and the necessity for frequent, clunky, scene changes is a little disturbing, and probably a bit hard on the patience of the audience.  I found it so.

I was favourably impressed by the work of Ben Burgess as Young Pat.  He presented with style and presence, and his voice put some older members of the cast to shame, with every word heard.  Patrick as a young man later in the play was played by Lachlan Ruffy.   Veteran player Jasan Savage got smiles for his playing of, among others, the ageing Mother Burnside.  Lauren Bradley was a wonderfully catty southern belle as Sally Cato.  One hopes to see more of her.  The cast was too large for me to write something about everybody!

If you want a good night at the theatre, with some excellent acting and plenty of laughs that you can leave with a smile, I recommend 'Aunty Mame'.