Saturday, January 22, 2011

Review: Don Parties On

Last week I attended the world premiere of Don Parties On, the latest work from Australian playwright David Williamson, at the MTC. I was less than impressed. My full review is available at Arts Hub, here, but here's a snippet to whet your appetite:

"Around sound-bites of Kerry O’Brien discussing the unfolding 2010 election results, Williamson’s assemblage of characters bicker, bellow, and pontificate. Here one of the first flaws of the play becomes quickly evident: these constructs don’t speak in dialogue, they talk in exposition and rhetoric, sounding more like Williamson himself than well realised characters.

Too, they’re thinly drawn; two dimensional at best (with the sole exception of the caustic and cutting Jenny, who brings some much needed life to the party when she arrives). At worst, in the case of the snivelling man-child Richard and Roberta, his drama queen lover, they’re totally one dimensional; an impression that is not helped by both Gilshenan and Shiels badly overplaying their roles, a fault that can only be laid at the feet of director Robyn Nevin, who should have pulled them back.

Other faults in the production, such as the static blocking of the characters on stage, are definitely Nevin’s fault also, but most of the flaws in the play are clearly Williamson’s."

Happy reading!

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