Friday 30 June 2023

This Is Personal review

To many, the name Mary Coustas is an instant reminder of the Australian icon that is Effie Stephanidis, the character Coustas portrayed on the television comedy Acropolis Now that ran between 1989 and 1992. With her new solo show This Is Personal, Coustas lets free the woman under the big wig and make-up, and opens up about the fears she has on not being alive to be there for her daughter when she will need her most.

In 70 engrossing minutes, Coustas takes us through her Greek upbringing and relationship with her parents, and up to the present day of dealing with her IVF difficulties and eventually becoming a mother. She seamlessly moves between time periods with small revelations and surprises along the way that draws us deeper into the performance. Her commanding presence and controlled storytelling - including well timed callbacks such as her mother's obsession with American soapies, and endearing impersonations of family members - allow Coustas to display her knack for comedy and her dramatic flair.

Thursday 29 June 2023

Social Dance review

In Social Dance, audience members have been invited to Suzie Spittle's dinner party in which she intends to present the first instalment of her 10 part lifestyle series "Etiquette in the Modern Age with the Spittles." Alongside her husband, two children and French exchange teacher, Suzie is here to help bring decorum and class back into our lives, but all is not all that it appears with cracks beginning to form in the Spittle’s facade of living the dream life.

Writer and director Laura McKenzie has designed the production so we are all seated around a large table setting with the Spittles. It's a great immersive approach to the show and while all the action happens around the dinner table, McKenzie allows her characters to move in the space and be active as much as possible.