Playhouse Creatures @ the Q TheatreShare Event on Facebook Share Event on Twitter Share Event on LinkedIn
An opening night at the Q Theatre in Queanbeyan with Pigeonhole Theatre’s premiere production of April De Angelis’ Playhouse Creatures augurs well for a little company of talented ladies who certainly can’t be pigeon holed. And we look forward to many productions that stretch and test their talents.
When the talent is known and admired for an extensive range of productions to see them come together as an ensemble of excellence in a play set in an unimaginable 1669, with all the street wisdom of bawdy belles conniving to survive and thrive on the stage among the thespians who hold the purse strings is to see feminist ideals prosper in the backstage of the previously male only domain.
Jordan Best is the director and cellist. She sits in her quiet light at the edge of the performance and watches and listens as well as playing quite beautifully. There’s something about the gutsy sound of the cello that suits this play with its depths and drama and Best, whose playing after a 16 year hiatus is a haunting thread woven into the original music composed by Matthew Webster, demonstrates again what a talent she is. As is Webster, his music is exceptional.
The actors are so good, each bringing their characterization to a high standard and all maintaining their accents throughout. Liz Bradley is the centrifugal force of wit and wisdom as the cockney Doll Common and Amy Dunham is Nell Gwynn who cons her way into the theatre company after meeting Jenna Robert’s as Elizabeth Farley. The tableaux, the posing and posturing that is intrinsic to this kind of theatre and the early roles of women is wonderful as Karen Vickery as Mrs Betterton and Emma Wood as Mrs Marshall work it to the nth degree. Mrs Betterton’s Hands of the Clock acting is hilarious as is the quick pee by Amy Dunham stage right.
There is humour and heartbreak. Bawdiness and brilliance as this little company finds a way to bankroll their efforts. Pigeonhole Theatre has set a high benchmark but they’re up to the task. Go girls!