Kate Herbert is theatre reviewer, Herald Sun, Melbourne & formerly for Melbourne Times. Kate is a director & produced playwright (20 plays). Scripts published by Currency Press. She worked as an actor, comedian, improviser & teacher of Acting, Improvisation & Playwriting. Kate is currently Convenor of Professional Writing & Editing, Swinburne University. Read her reviews here or at: www.heraldsun.com.au/entertainment/arts. NB Explorer Browser doesn't always work on blog.
Thursday, 5 February 2015
Jumpy, 5 Feb 2015 ***
By April de Angelis, Melbourne Theatre Company MTC Southbank Theatre, the
Sumner, 5 Feb until 14 March 2015 Reviewer: Kate Herbert Stars: *** Full review later when it is published in Herald Sun online and then in print. KH
David Tredinnick & Jane
an adolescent in the house can be like living with a rampaging, uncaged beast – so
how do they grow up like that and why do parents tolerate their appalling
Jumpy, by UK playwright April De Angelis, poor, beleaguered Hilary (Jane
Turner) wrestles with her wayward and rebellious 15-year old daughter, Tilly (Brenna
Harding), lurching from one chaotic episode to another in her life.
is turning 50, losing her job as a Literacy teacher and dealing with bouts of
panic, a failing marriage and the sense of creeping redundancy and invisibility
of the middle-aged woman in a society that values youth.
Pamela Rabe’s production, Turner brings her eccentric charm and comic
sensibilities to the under-confident, insecure Hilary who she portrays as being
in a perpetual state of bewilderment and barely controlled despair and anger.
story is both familiar and alarming with its depiction of parents held hostage
by their mean-mouthed and manipulative child who is fused to her smart-phone
and driven by raging hormones.
leave one wondering why parents don’t just say, “No”, stop trying to be their
kids’ best friend and set some clear boundaries from an early age.
Angelis’s script skims across most of its issues with too much expository
dialogue that provides only limited exploration of Hilary’s issues with ageing,
relationships and parenting.
narrative structure is sometimes unsatisfying, with time jumps that omit
crucial scenes to explain the beginning, ending or resuming of relationships
between Hilary and her jaded husband (David Tredinnick), Tilly and her boyfriend
Josh (Laurence Boxhall), and between Josh’s parents (Caroline Brazier, John
comic highlight is Marina Prior as Hilary’s slightly predatory and
well-preserved pal who toys with singles’ bars and, hilariously, amateur burlesque
rhythm and pace of this production are a bit bumpy, with some scenes moving too
slowly and, at two and a half hours, both the script and the production need
if you live or work with teens, hold onto your seat because it’s a comical but