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Review: Fiona Coyne's award-winning CAREFUL is on at Milnerton Playhouse

Review: Fiona Coyne's award-winning CAREFUL is on at Milnerton Playhouse

Directed by Johann van der Merwe, CAREFUL runs until 30 July

I have to admit, I didn't know that Fiona Coyne was also an award-winning playwright and after watching CAREFUL at the Milnerton Playhouse, I am keen to read all of her work! The characters are really well-rounded and the story develops in a very clever way. I enjoyed this offering from Milnerton Players and it was great to be back at this lovely theatre after two years.

The story revolves around two women who are, on the surface, completely opposite to one another. The one, Jean played by Gillian Vosloo, is an actress who has "passed her prime" and is struggling to get cast in anything. The other, Leila played by Carolyn Venter, is a younger theatre critic who is still at the top of her game. Jean has asked Leila to help her with the characterisation for a part she's just landed - her first role in years. The reason for calling Leila is that the character is gay and Leila is the only lesbian that Jean knows. Of course, this causes conflict right off the bat and things escalate from there. It's an intriguing study in personal prejudices and finding common ground.

I found that the performances in this production lacked some of the nuance required for such a complex script. However, both actors clearly connected with their characters and felt comfortable with them. They also landed the comic lines nicely, bringing some lightness to quite intense conversations.

Since the play is set in a rehearsal space or backstage area of a theatre, the stage was left open with all the flats and general backstage paraphernalia on display. I loved this choice - and as an actor myself, I know a backstage area like that so well and it made me smile to see it. However, this choice to leave the stage so open could have posed quite the challenge for the actors in terms of projection because there are no wings, curtains or flats to help cushion the sound and send it forwards into the audience. I'm happy to say both actors rose to the challenge nicely.

CAREFUL is a clever piece of theatre that offers up a warning to the characters and the audience about not being too careful in life. Director Johann van der Merwe brings this piece to life well, along with the use of some nice A/V effects. And it's always a fun evening out when you visit Milnerton Playhouse!

Photo credit: Supplied

CAREFUL runs at Milnerton Playhouse until 30 July with performances on Fridays and Saturdays. Tickets can be booked via the Milnerton Players website.




From This Author - Faeron Wheeler

Faeron is a Cape Town based actor, writer and producer who has been involved in theatre since she was only three years old. She studied drama and dancing throughout school and then went on to do... (read more about this author)


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