At the PIP Theatre at Park Road, Milton until 22nd June 2024

If you are between 23 years and 95 years of age, you live in Brisbane and you have family in Brisbane, I suspect you’ll love this play. It opens up wounds that are closely hidden within families in an hilarious manner. It really is more of 2 hours of the most exquisite education than a distracting entertainment. And it’s very funny.

My favourite character is Delores (Bernadette Pryde). You’ll meet Delores if you go to the play. She’s grey, from Africa and holds the family together. Then there’s dad, Jack (Steven Giles) who’s about to fall off his perch, but is hanging on tenaciously. And his younger daughter Bunny (Samantha Proctor) who tries really hard to be helpful, sometimes breaking out into real connection but has very annoying habits. And the eldest Pepper (Natasha McDonald) who is a most complex character, no doubt forged by her dedication to her ailing mother and her need to drive herself to be the person her father wants her to be. She is, eventually, but he doesn’t live to see it.

The set is hardcore Red Hill Queenslander from the 1960s and 1970s. You’ll want to take home some of the furniture, much like the siblings as they squabble over who’ll get what after dad dies.

Then there is the real stuff: the house itself is in trendy Red Hill and is now worth a fortune. Four bedroom two bathrooms and wrap around verandas. What’s not to like.

But all that is background to a tantalising look at Jack’s life and choices. His loves and passions and commitments, not only to his children, but to what is expected of him. He falls short, as we all do. But it is Delores who runs the show, interrupting appropriately, enticing all to hilarity and dancing as well as childhood chants. She brings a layer of longevity to the whole performance.

Bronwyn Nayler and Jenna Todd set the scene beautifully. Their creative vision is layered with complexity and meaning. The play warrants more than one visit.

Dan Hallen, aka “Hey Google” must have had a ball. He was right on it, anyway. And Chancie Jessop did her bit, with the high heels fighting with the Birkenstocks and slippers.

The stage worked well. Loved the crotched blanket. Ava Moschetti had everything in its place. And I can see Brigitte Bennet off on opp shopping trips to create the set.

Angela Murphy, from North Queensland, has a fine eye for emotional nuance and language. I look forward to going to more of her plays.

At PIP Theatre upstairs in 20 Park Road, Milton until 22nd June 2024.

Highly recommended.


Kerry McGovern