STC have chosen to end the year on a comedic note, with a play exploring the experiences of middle-aged executive Don Locke, as he tries to adapt to life without his absconding wife and engage in meaningful relationships with his three Gen-Y children.
George Kapiniaris is the star of the show in every way. He manages to bring to Don a fine balance of sardonic humour and absolute ennui, presenting a man who is interesting, amusing and pitiful. Joining him as Jim – the sycophantic younger co-worker with big plans for the future – is Peter Michell, who delivers some of the best lines in the show with just the right timing. As AJ Orlofsky, Don’s soon to be retiring boss who is quite clearly a stubby short of a six-pack, Pip Miller provides a suitable mix of authority and insanity.
Sadly, the younger performers do not fare as well. The money-hungry offspring, Chris Asimos (Damien), Matthew Crook (Neil) and Rhiannon Owen (Julie) fail to arouse any empathy or connection. The characters are undoubtedly written as narcissistic, selfish, unlikable stereotypes of the generation, but the portrayals lack any feeling of truth, which is vital to effective satire. The one saving grace is the performance of Laura-Jane Emes who, while equally uninspiring in the role of Neil’s girlfriend Patti, is delightful as Don’s solitaire playing, gooey eyed secretary.
Though the uneven characterisation sometimes detracted from the overall effect, this was a humorous night of theatre which provided a pleasant distraction.
Kryztoff rating: 3K
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