BWW Review: ALL CHANGE – ADELAIDE FRINGE 2019 at Bakehouse Theatre

BWW Review: ALL CHANGE – ADELAIDE FRINGE 2019 at Bakehouse TheatreReviewed by Barry Lenny, Tuesday 19th February 2019.

Last year, Smokescreen Productions brought us Mengele and Shell Shock. This year, we are being given two more productions, this one, All Change, and, a bit later in the season, Judas. If you saw either or both of those productions last year, then you probably already have your tickets for these two new works.

Directed by Nicholas Collett, All Change, described as "a nostalgic comedy about growing old", introduces Ivor, who is suffering from dementia, and his daughter, Lily, who is helping him to pack for his move to a care facility. Tim Marriott reunites with Adelaide artist, Stefanie Rossi, who appeared with him here in Mengele, and travelled to the Edinburgh Fringe to perform it again there, to great acclaim. Marriott will be well-known to all who laughed helplessly at the television comedy series, The Brittas Empire, although this is by no means his only achievement in his career, and Rossi was the recipient of the Adelaide Critics Circle Award for an Emerging Artist in December last year. They were a formidable team in Mengele and exhibit great rapport again in this play.

Marriott's script was inspired by and based on a family member, Granny Kay, and the production supports Dementia Australia.

As Lily tries to pack, Ivor quickly unpacks again whenever she turns her back. He is absorbed in his crossword. She has something very important to tell him. Although much is slipping from his mental grasp, he still maintains his intricate knowledge of train timetables. For a moment here and there, he seems lucid, then trickles away back into his confused thoughts. The candle suddenly burns brightly, but then sputters out. There are some brief interludes with reminiscences that show their early relationships, which we see as flashbacks, adding to our understanding of their current situation. Emotions often run high.

Marriott and Rossi make a perfect pair as the father and daughter, each sparking off the other in a sympathetic interpretation of the script, sometimes very funny, sometimes poignant, but never dull. Marriott is absolutely marvellous as Ivor, creating a most convincing character that one cannot help but feel for, even love. Rossi's Lily is another of her wonderful characterisations, presenting a young woman full of warmth for her father and trying hard to cope with all that is happening to both of them. It is easy to believe in both of these characters due, in part, to the authenticity of the writing and the three-dimensionality of the written characters, and then, more so, to the two exceptional interpretations, coupled with the generous give and take, the support given by each to the other.

Do not miss this production, and be sure to see Oysters before, and The Professor afterwards, all being presented at the Bakehouse this Fringe. These three plays make for a great evening of international standard entertainment.

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From This Author Barry Lenny

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