BWW Review: FILTHY BUSINESS at ASB Waterfront Auckland
Auckland Theatre Company's Filthy Business is a deliciously authentic piece.
Both fiery and funny, this play provides a window on the realities of life for a Jewish immigrant family. It cleverly encapsulates the many layers and struggles of the human condition within a variety of gritty characters and plot lines.
Yetta Solomon lost her family in the Holocaust; witnessing horrors that no young child should be subjected to. She becomes an immigrant in a country that was less than welcoming. She fights hard, at first for survival and then out of fear of losing those dear to her.
Set in the East End of London mostly at the Solomon Family Rubber Company over a period of 1968-1988, the performers, their superb accents, costuming and it's
'real-as-you-can-get' set, meld together to transport the audience into life in another time and place.
Director Colin McColl has assembled a stellar cast of seasoned professionals and newcomers. They all deliver a rich honesty that honours the fine script.
Jennifer Ludlam is sublime as Yetta; she finely balances her harsh rhetoric, voracious love for her family and manipulating manoeuvres to get what she wants. Her family think they know her but she is more, so much more.
Her sons, played by Andrew Grainger and Adam Gardiner, are fabulous in their roles. They are suffocating under Mother's love while making hopeless attempts to emancipate themselves and their children.
Second generation sufferers Mickey, (Joe Witkowski), Bernice (Holly Hudson) and Gerard (Simon Leary) are all superb and are conflicted in their commonality of Grandmother and her ways.
The daughters-in-law are both long-suffering but reveal this in very different ways. Poor Eileen (Hera Dunleavy), is feisty and is pushing hard for a better life while Carol (Jodie Dorday) just wants to keep the peace. She's hilarious.
Add into the mix the pregnant Rosa (Ava Diakhaby), her 'husband' Walter (Simbarashe Matshe) the long suffering Monty (Logan Cole) and Vern, whose wife had the most terrible varicose veins (Jonny Burgh) . There's some dodgy dealings around the cash register and a suspicious fire. There are plenty of plot lines to keep the audience immersed.
The tech team have excelled. The set is a refreshing change from the abstract.
In the words of set designer Daniel Williams, 'every brick is a memory' and Williams has created exactly that nostalgic authenticity.
Accolades to the Costumes (Nic Simillie), Lighting (Jo Kilgor) and a special mention to Composer Adrian Hosley who also headed the Sound Design.
If you need a reason for a night out in the city then Filthy Business is it. As with all great theatre, it leaves you with plenty to reflect on while being highly entertaining.
Auckland Theatre Company
ASB Waterfront Theatre