Monday, July 2, 2018
The Ensemble Theatre presents an Australian premiere of, UNQUALIFIED, by Genevieve Hegney and Catherine Moore, at the Ensemble Theatre, Kirribilli. 22 June - 21 July.
UNQUALIIFED, a new Australian play nurtured and commissioned by the Ensemble Theatre, from two actors/writers.
Joanne (Genevieve Hegney) has found her TV star husband is heading to Bankruptcy and Bali with his latest girlfriend. Enough is enough - this relationship MUST end. Felicity (Catherine Moore) has worked as a butcher in her father's meat business and does not want to inherit it - she has secretly hated it. How can she tell her dearest, darling Dad?
These two desperately co-dependent women meet up, crash into one another, literally, at Centrelink and through diverse and mysterious ways - no pressure from Felicity - decide to set up a Small Business of their own - an Employment Agency. They get some jobs but they have no employees and so, perforce, take them on, one by one, themselves, from child minding, wedding organisers to Drama Class leaders, displaying their lack of qualifications hilariously through 'adventure' after 'adventure' to an almost complete 'breakdown' of exhaustion and antagonism.
Originally written by these two women, Ms Hegney and Moore, as a six part television show, they have been in the 'loop' of creative possibility for a couple of years with various Television forces. The Ensemble Artistic Director, Mark Kilmurry, hearing of the project, encouraged these actors to write a play from their material. Six episodes, fifty odd characters simmered and reduced down to ninety minutes and two characters. Janine Watson brought on board to Direct and, guess what we have? - a terrific night in the theatre. The writing is comfortably funny, even at this length - it could bear some trimming - and although dramaturgically it doesn't make its point as clearly as one would want, the performances by Ms Hegney and Moore have such complete trust in one another and sparking chemistry that the time in the theatre zips by.
Intelligently, utilising the Set Design for the other current production, MAJORIE PRIME, Simon Greer has created a large back wall job vacancy bill board and with a minimum of furniture and props, in a new Lighting Design by Alex Berlage, creates a very flexible space for these two actor/comics to create many environments for the fun, the many scenes boisterously kept bouncing through the scene adjustments by the perky Sound Design of Thomas E. Moore.
UNQUALIFIED, a comedy from 'girl-power' or to be more respectful and politically correct, perhaps, WOMAN POWER. Thanks Ms Hegney, Moore and Watson, especially. Let's hope the Television bosses catch-on to what they have been offered and missed.