Thursday, July 20, 2023


Written by Nick Enright

Directed by Julian Meyrick

The Mill Theatre At Dairy Road, Fyshwick to August 12


 Reviewed by Len Power 19 July 2023


Written in 1995 by Australian Nick Enright, the play explores the memories of members of two Irish Catholic families, the Donovans and the Kennedys.  Covering 60 years, the play moves randomly between the 1920s, the 50s and the 80s and builds up a vivid picture of life in those times.

The ‘Good Works’ of the play’s title depend on everyone’s personal point of view.  The religious influence of the time on these people is strong and far-reaching.  It underlies thoughts, judgements and decisions, many leading to conflict and tragedy.

The cast of six play the members of this family at various times in their lives.  At first, the random nature of the memories seems confusing but eventually a clearer picture emerges.  The incisive performances of all six actors add considerably to the production’s success.

Oliver Bailey and Martin Everett give deeply detailed performances as the two boys who share a binding friendship growing up together before an incident tears them apart.  Adele Querol gives a spirited and moving performance as Rita, a girl and woman who tries to fight against the perceived restrictions of her life.  Lexi Sekuless skilfully plays Mary Margaret, Rita’s school friend, who grows into a woman of strong, well-meaning principles.  Helen McFarlane gives finely etched characters in a number of roles and Neil Pigot, who also plays multiple roles, is particularly effective as the sadistic Catholic Brother Clement.

Director, Julian Meyrick, keeps the highly complex interaction of these characters and the time shifts clear.  The clever lighting design of Stefan Wronksi, Jennifer Wright and Tim Sekuless helps to keep us aware of these different time periods.  The simple but attractive set designed by Kathleen Kershaw works well.  It has a dreamlike, shadowy feeling about it.

This is a play that resonates for anyone who lived during those time periods.  For everyone else, it is a highly effective look back at a very different time in this country.


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