BWW Review: LAST LEGS at Dolphin Theatre, Onehunga
Dolphin Theatre's production of Roger Hall's 'Last Legs' is delivered with a fresh authenticity through cleverly crafted attention to every aspect of the production.
Director Glenda Pearce is known for her attention to detail and she has successfully replicated the realism of the retirement home; highlighting the atmosphere and the experiences of the diverse characters who live there and delivering the humour.
The clever marriage of technologies and stagecraft ensures that there is a perfect balance of action and pace which is better-delivered than I've seen in other productions. There is no 'down time' or drag and the audience feels that they're engaged with people they've met before and there is never a dull moment.
Amidst happy hour, bridge and mahjong, our upmarket seniors indulge in greed, jealousy, love and lust navigating their way through infidelity, illness and gossip in an hilarious romp of laughter and scandal.
The characters are all represented as well as any professional by a very skilled cast, each claiming their characters and delivering idiosyncrasies and nuances with perfect timing.
Trish (Sue Golding) and husband Garry (Mark Campbell), are a pair of disgraced real estate agents. Garry is keen for some spice in his life while Trish is resigned that she's stuck with him and would much prefer the company of her dearly departed dog. Both are excellent.Helena (Bronwen Arlington), lets us know very clearly that she is the long suffering and much younger wife of Angus. Unbeknownst to her, Angus (Andrew Maher) finds a new and surprisingly virile lease on life when he discovers his mistress from days gone by has moved into the same retirement village. Kitty (Ami Coster) is a saucy ex actress who has every intention of continuing with her loving ways and this of great interest to Edna (Pam Browne) a 'greeny' who has reluctantly vacated her villa and is coming to terms with the challenges of chemotherapy and confined living. Supporting these characters is an eclectic bunch of performers who play their eccentricities with admirable authenticity, timing and humour. Accolades to them all. For some this is their acting debut and I would not have believed it until I read it in the programme. Their cast descriptions include anecdotes such as ' Was born in World War II and is still alive' and 'hoping that Last Legs is not the end of the line'. Their style comes across well on stage and they never miss a beat.
Sound designers David Driscoll and Rachel Sai have created a great design and highlighted with Rachel's original piano piece that underlies the final scenes. It's beautiful.
The lighting is clever and wardrobe team (Robyn Fleming and Jocelyn McQuaid) both selected and manipulated costumes to provide character, depth of focus and to show the change in time across 17 scene changes. No easy task but managed with a sophisticated simplicity .
I absolutely recommend that you find the time to come see this show. It is a delight.
Dolphin Theatre Company
Spring Street Onehunga
Until 7th March