Tony Laumberg finds humour in a serious case of negligence after Frances (Jadie Bastow) tells us the tale of her daughter’s horse that can no longer compete after suffering illness from being exposed to harmful chemicals. Suing the company for compensation, her solicitor has left insecure, awkward and shell of a lawyer, Brad Pitt (Michael Arvithis) in charge.
The production has the usual elements of a good comedy with over exaggerated expressions and vocalising from two dimensional characters. For the most part, the play is set in a court room with great use of the stage with the lighting design’s selective visibility as we’re taken to the solicitor’s office and holiday destination of the missing lawyer who has left the case in Brad’s hands!
Simon Crookwell is the council for the company being sued, David Evan Samuel’s plays the pompousness in the style of Louis Litt from Suits while Magistrate Newman (Tricia Youlden) has a Matron Sloane, A Country Practice vibe to her. A total contrast to the awkwardness of Brad Pitt who’s hilariously portrayed panic attacks in attempting to present his client’s case provides a continual string of laughs from the audience.
In facing his fears with the whispy free spirited Frances, Brad ends up experiencing a Wizard of Oz moment with the triumphant win against the seemingly tight case of the defense.
The humour that keeps the boredom out of the clinical and sterile set of the courtroom is heightened by Valentino Arico who’s appearance on stage the audience looks forward to as he appears as Brad’s boss and Simon Crookwell’s expert witnesses. He’s been able to take the stage with three fully realised characters quite convincingly with the help of costume and hair design.
While a few jokes didn’t seem to work, there were enough laughs in the show coming, no one really noticed. It will be a treat for locals with this original work embodying the local scene and offering the set up for many funny moments.
Running until 26 October, Bondi Theatre Company have a string of productions lined up showcasing even more promising work throughout the rest of the season.
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