Sunday, April 30, 2023



Written By Suzanne Hawley

Directed by Kim Hardwick

Di Smith In Association With Arts On Tour production

Q Theatre, Queanbeyan 28-29 April


Reviewed by Len Power 29 April 2023


If the rain kept people away from the short season of ‘Wild Thing’, it’s a pity because it was a very enjoyable and moving play and the audience clearly had a good time.

Suzanne Hawley’s play ‘Wild Thing’ concerns a group of four Australian women born in the early 1940s who form a lasting friendship that endures for many years.  We first see them at school aged about 13 in 1956 when the most they have to look forward to is a typing job and, with luck, a good marriage.

As the years pass, ‘The Four Musketeers’, as they call themselves, experience very different lives from their early expectations as Australia changes with them.  Sex, drugs and rock and roll play their part as do the social and cultural changes happening in the world in the 60s and 70s.  Through all of this, one thing remains constant – their friendship.

On a deceptively simple set designed by Tom Bannerman, episodes from the girls’ lives play out rather like a jumble of memories from various times.  The men they meet and form attachments with appear along the way but the focus is firmly on the group of four women.

Director, Kim Hardwick, has opted for a simple, well-paced staging with minimal props and strong character work from her cast of four women and two men.

As the women, Di Smith, Katrina Foster, Di Adams and Helen O’Connor give excellent performances that become truly endearing as the years progress.  They all bring their different characters alive with a notable intensity.  By the time of the finale, we feel a celebration too as they celebrate their long lives with each other.

The men in the cast, Lewis Fitz-Gerald and Tony Poli, play multiple roles of teachers, lovers and husbands, moving in and out of the girls’ lives as the years go on.  Both give deeply etched characterizations that matter to the girls’ stories.

This was a play as much about the culture of Australia and the times as about the women and men whose lives we observed over a large number of decades.  For many of us, there was the added pleasure of close identification with the times and the characters.


Len Power's reviews are also broadcast on Artsound FM 92.7 in the ‘Arts Cafe’ and ‘Arts About’ programs and published in his blog 'Just Power Writing' at