Tag: Jimmy James Eaton

MICF 2016: Lockwood Productions Presents I (HONESTLY) LOVE YOU

Loveable love story plays well for laughs

By Joana Simmons

“The naked truth is always better than the best-dressed lie.” – Ann Landers

Or is it? What if the naked truth is all you have? I (Honestly) Love You has played at Edinburgh Fringe and New York Fringe and is here to tickle the National Theatre stage and make audiences giggle and squirm with satisfaction with its not-so-conventional but oh-so-comedic tale of what happens when two people with a rare psychological condition that prohibits them from telling the truth fall madly in love.

I Honestly Love You.jpg

We are introduced to the story and told love can be “everything and nothing at the same time.” In front of a calendar backdrop with certain relationship milestones on particular dates the story ensues with sharp witty dialogue and some interesting audience interaction. If reality TV has taught us anything, it’s that it’s not necessarily what happens in reality that is exciting, but relationships- and a relationship built on complete honesty (“yes, your butt does look big in that” “I hate cricket”) is both heart-warming and hilarious.

The show has Melbourne actors Jimmy James Eaton and George Gayler in the lead roles and supported by Talei Howell- Price and Damon Lockwood– also playwright and director. Howell-Price and Lockwood do a stellar job of playing multiple supporting roles, sometimes within the same scene, which are exquisitely defined, physically and vocally. Easton’s comic timing and larger-than-life facial expressions make his eruptions of truth gut-busting and cringe-worthy in all the best ways, and Gayler gives an authentic and (obviously) honest portrayal of a woman who meets a guy she just wants to make it work with, and is an tasteful match to her onstage love.

This is the first show I’ve seen with so much thought and attention to detail put into the stage and costume design, and Cherie Hewson, the creator responsible, can’t go with out commendation. This clever, well-seasoned production will gently pluck your heart strings, question your morals and put the laugh in love. It’s great! (Honestly).

Venue: The National Theatre, St Kilda

Dates: 13 – 16 April 2016

Time: 7.30pm

Tickets: $25

Bookings: http://www.nationaltheatre.org.au


A truly wonderful evening of entertainment

By Margaret Wieringa

Cancel your plans, pack a picnic and get yourself to Pipemaker’s Park. This is a show that you won’t want to miss – and if that hasn’t sold you, it’s free!

A Midsummer Night's Dream.jpg

In case you don’t know, A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a Shakespearean comedy, set in Athens one hot summer’s night. There are characters in love and characters betrothed and characters running away, and then the faeries and the like get involved, and things go crazy. Ultimately, the perfect play to watch as the sun sets in a beautiful Australian park.

The Pipemaker’s Park is a place that has been let got for a long time; walking from the carpark, you pass some ugly concrete and rusted fences. Director Alan Chambers and playwright Andy Harmsen have clearly drawn inspiration from these contrary surrounds, with the central feature of the set a rusted old pickup truck beneath a most beautiful and expansive tree.

And then the cast arrive – it was like Elizabethan Mad Max, a dystopian future-feel with ripped clothes and skinheads and a bit of ‘Am I Ever Going to See Your Face Again’. I cannot praise the cast enough. They were just fabulous – to a tee. Even the smallest role was filled with humour and delightful little quirks. As always, Puck was the favourite of the crowd – Brendan Ewing played the cheeky fawn with perfect comic timing, slipping through the crowd on the most mysterious stilt/legs. I want to go on about all of the performers, although space won’t permit – the wonderful lovers played with so much humour by Katharine Innes, Hannah Bolt, Letitia Sutherland and Seton Pollack; the hilarious Mechanicals lead by Jimmy James Eaton as Bottom. Just brilliant.

A couple of things for your comfort – plan a little. Bring a blanket and a jumper and maybe a picnic (though there are snacks, including a delicious smelling BBQ). And if it looks like the weather may turn, don’t cancel your plans – there is an undercover area where the show can move if need be. We were very lucky – there were a few drops of rain, but once some umbrellas were handed out, the rain stopped.

This was truly a community event – the audience was full of families and kids, couples and people on their own, young and old. It was a lovely feeling, and in a delightful park that I had not until this night even known existed.

Where: Pipemaker’s Park, The Living Museum of the West, Maribyrnong
When: 63:0 pm February 19th, 20th, 21st, 26th, 27th and 28th
Tickets: Free! Just arrive, spread out your blanket and enjoy!



Willy Loman still has a dream

By Narelle Wood

I am an Arthur Miller fan, and while Death of a Salesman is a great play it is depressing and in need of a little humour. I was intrigued by the premise of this play as a comedy and what The Loman Empire: The Sitcom! – An unauthorised satire of Death of a Salesman accomplishes, is more than a little humour; it is non-stop laughing from start to finish.

The Loman Empire The Sitcom

The play has been reset as a 80’s sitcom and from the moment the audience enters they are onset for a live taping of The Loman Empire. True to the original script of the play, the taping of this episode of The Loman Empire follows Willy (Russell Fletcher), Biff (Jimmy James Eaton) and Happy (Danny McGinlay) on their pursuit for the American Dream and their experiences of falling just short of success. Of course Linda Loman (Lana Schwarz), Willy’s long-suffering wife, and Charlie (Damian Callinan), the long-suffering neighbour, also make an appearance.

The structure of The Loman Empire: The Sitcom! is a show within a show; the sitcom begins with the introduction of the stars and each act is broken up with a commercial break. So well put together is this production that they actually include opening and closing credits and commercials, some of which are so funny I’m still laughing.

The writing is exceptional. The writer Danny McGinlay has managed to intertwine large parts of Death of a Salesman with his dialogue, whilst keeping the integrity of all the characters. The director, Damian Callinan, uses the set really well with multiple transitions and the actors move seamlessly between characters, especially Dennis Manahan, who we first meet as the actor Chyp Wood. The personas of the off-screen actors are hilarious, but one of my personal favourites is the off-to-the-side-of-the-stage ‘Warm Up Guy’ (Lachlan Millsom) who keeps the audience applauding and laughing in all the right spots.

Even if you’re not a Miller fan or familiar with the original works, this is a hoot that had me laughing from the moment it started. But be warned; you may never read Death of a Salesman in quite the same way again.

Venue: Northcote Town Hall, 189 High St Northcote
Season: Saturday 20th September to Sunday 28th September, 8.15 pm, Sundays 7.15 pm
Tickets: Full $26| Conc $21
Bookings: www.melbournefringe.com.au/fringe-festival/show/loman-empire-the-sitcom-an-unauthorised-satire-of-death-of-a-salesman/