Thursday, 1 November 2012

More Sex Please...We're Seniors! Oct 31, 2012 **

By John-Michael Howson, Music by Peter Sullivan
Comedy Theatre, Oct 31 to Dec 2, 2012
Reviewer: Kate Herbert  
Stars: **
Review in Herald Sun on Friday, Nov 2, 2012

 Mark Mitchell & Michael Veitch 
MORE SEX PLEASE...WE'RE SENIORS! a musical comedy by John-Michael Howson, has a catchy title but doesn’t fulfill its potential to be entertaining Identification Theatre about the many indignities visited upon seniors.
The capable cast, directed by Pip Mushin and accompanied by Peter Sullivan on piano, work like Trojans to make the flimsy narrative, two-dimensional characters, flabby dialogue and cheesy songs entertaining.

However, Howson’s script lacks dramatic development, there is no dramatic or character conflict, and the gags are wordy, predictable and often unfunny.

Two senior couples of indeterminate age (65-70 perhaps?) move into Guantanamo Palms Retirement Village to enjoy their twilight years surrounded by palm tress in Craigieburn.

Mark Mitchell is the comic highlight as Mac, the retired mechanic who loves a beer, and he gets the biggest laughs for his physical, visual gags: sliding awkwardly off the couch while pedalling his foot exerciser and wrestling hilariously with his oversized, red pants.

Mac’s craving for his youthful sex drive features in his two songs: The House Where I Get None and Take Viagra.

Jane Clifton plays Mac’s long-suffering wife, Joan, and Clifton lends her rich voice to Joan’s song about her struggle with bladder control, You Can Depend on Depends.

Michael Veitch plays Roy, the smallgoods dealer, whose life is marred by embarrassing gas that he sings about in My Wind Keeps Breaking.

As his neurotic wife who is obsessed with home security since she had her bottom pinched at Chadstone, Tracy Harvey is suitably perky and nervy.

Matt Quartermaine plays the silent clown role of Mr. Dogsbody, the maintenance man who appears between scenes to clown around as he clumsily moves furniture.

The show is less a play than a series of scenes and songs about annoying or debilitating issues of ageing including: sex, marriage, ailments, travel, Christmas, politics and greedy families.

The final scenes get more interesting when the two couples initiate a Seniors Unit political protest that gets their juices going and provides them with a sense of purpose as they fight to be visible in their old age.

There are numerous problems with the script that cold be improved with some judicious editing of dialogue, tightening of gags and a dramatic structure that allowed the characters to overcome some conflict before they become friends and embark off on their political crusade.

By Kate Herbert

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