What a great way to break the drought of plays. I am a reluctant and stingy standing ovationer but I was quickly up on my feet to applaud the cast, but mainly, Robyn Scott, lead supreme of this fantastic show.
Last night at the Little Theatre was exactly how theatre should be. There was a buzz in the air. The full house of audience came early and ate pies and drank beer (what a cool idea). Then we went inside and saw a brilliant script fantastically executed.
Elizabeth: Almost By Chance a Woman is the most unwieldy title of a delicious comedy written by genius and Nobel prize for Literature winner, playwright Dario Fo. Its subject is Queen Elizabeth, who is completely off her rocker. It is this that helps make this theatrical experience so wonderful. The play’s subject matter is irreverent and completely obscure, yet the brilliant script draws you in and the journey is a theatrical delight.
The supporting cast in this production are great. My favourite was Nicholas Dallas who plays Egerton. He is hilarious. Shirley Johnston has the unbelievably difficult job of playing poor Martha and she does so very well. It is a bit like the teeniest moon orbiting the biggest planet; but that’s what it is. Scott Sparrow in a dress and playing Dame Grosslady is weird and hilarious in turns. I had no idea what he was talking about for most of the time, but even that was very, very funny. Jaco Nothnagel and James MacGregor were also delightful in their small parts.
But, let’s face it, it’s the Robyn Scott show. And she is mind blowing. I don’t know where it comes from, but every nuance, movement, sound, tic, step, gesture, pause, cry, every moment is theatrical magic. She is riveting, hilarious, moving and huge. It is no small feat to pull off a monster of a part like this, and she is totally brilliant.
Chris Weare is in his directorial element here. You can see the fun he had with this one. And Daniel Galloway’s lighting, in the difficult Little Theatre, was really, really good. I also have to mention the costumes by Penny Simpson from Artscape, which were absolutely fabulous.
So, I imagine the long and obscure title is not going to make people run off to book tickets, therefore I am taking on the role of urging, nagging, cajoling and threatening people. Guys, if you miss this one you really will miss out. This is what theatre is all about.