Currently playing at the Old 505 Theatre in Surry Hills, John Patrick Shanley’s play ‘Where’s My Money?’ is the offering by independent group Little Spoon Theatre Company and directed by Jodin Meyer.
First and foremost, Shanley’s play is intriguing. The blur between fiction, fantasy and fact is cleverly treated in the series of duologues between its characters as it explores what we expect from our relationships and what we’re prepared to do to maintain it and ourselves. This is good dialogue that engages you from the start and then takes you into dark corners that create an electricity of suspense, drama and humour. Straight away, Little Spoon has done something very smart. They chose a solid piece of writing, a layered canvas to showcase their company and then treated it with integrity and faithfulness in their rendition. The play does tread on some touchy issues in regards to its statements about women and the power of men but the style keeps it light and the elements of shock are handled well.
There are some good performances in ‘Where’s My Money?’, although not all the cast have mastered the belief of character and material or the timing of delivery. The highlights were Matt Stewart as Sidney and Karli Evans as Marcia-Marie in their fractured relationship as husband and wife in the sacred space of Marcia-Marie’s kitchen. Tara Newtown-Wordsworth as Celeste had some of the energy required but struggled to sustain the dimensions and belief of a woman who bounces between the security of the mundane, the paranoia of her relationships, the desires of the flesh and the excitement of her sado-masochistic affair. Whilst Lara Lightfoot as Natalie played the part of hard-nosed cold honesty with skill, her ability to convince us of her fear of Tommy was not so strong.
I enjoyed the characters’ use of the live musician, Ed Gain, and the set contained a few surprises that the audience will enjoy.
Even though there are a few wobbles on the acting front, this was a solid play and engaging structurally and narratively. The acting doesn’t detract from the enjoyment of the play as each performer has moments of success in their delivery and playfulness and the tension is manifested in Meyer’s direction.
It’s a good sign when the audience stay in their seats post show as they process the play and perhaps hope there’s more to come.
It’s certainly worth a squiz so catch it before it finishes on the 16th of December.