Porky PiesPorky Pies is a high school reunion from the moment the audience enters the bar, is greeted by ex-school captain, Kitty Dixon (Elke Osadnik), given their name tags and encouraged to mingle with each other, as well as with the other ex-students, Roger (Miles Bence), Stella (Samara Hodgson), the barman (Jonathon Scott), Garry (David Martin), Anne (Veronica Milsom) and the DJ (Alister Newstead).

The venue was full and, from all reports, has been most performances, which says a lot about the company producing this show and their enthusiasm for the work they’re creating and their ability to draw an audience.

The feeling from start to finish is fun. It’s not Shakespeare and doesn’t try to be. It’s an ordinary ten year high school reunion, where you wonder what people will think of you, if and how people have changed, seeing people you fought with and never liked, being scared to be honest about how little you’ve achieved or admit you haven’t lived the life you once dreamed of. How do you admit you left school to become a parking inspector? How do you admit you studied at drama school only to end up on a cheesy TV show wearing a bear suit? It’s awkward, funny, occasionally poignant, honest and full of peoples’ ‘porky pies’, which are gradually revealed, at all the wrong times, over the course of the evening.

The characters were generally likeable and the performances by cast members were strong. Characterisations by David Martin, Miles Bence and co-writer Veronica Milsom were particularly enjoyable, while the other actors were mostly believable and held the show together well. There were slow moments, but the overall feeling was one of wanting to know what’s going to happen, how their secrets will be discovered and what the night has in store.

I laughed out loud a few times and so did the majority of audience members. The plot was thin and if there was room for improvement in the show, it was in regards to the script. I do feel there could have been more at stake for the characters, so that the discovery of the truth caused even more mayhem and embarrassment.

The lighting, costume, set and music design was appropriate. At times, the show did feel like a university revue, but so what? There was nothing outstanding about the show or performance, no huge emotional arcs, peaks or troughs, but everyone seemed to enjoy it, laughed a lot and left on a high. What more could one hope for?

Alex Lee and Veronica Milsom presents
Porky Pies

Venue: Mac Daddy's Lounge Bar | Flinders Lane
Dates: 26 Sep - 13 Oct 2007
Times: 7.30pm Excluding Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Friday
Tickets: Conc $15.00, Full $18.00, Group $14.00
Bookings: Festival Tix: 03 8412 8777 or www.melbournefringe.com.au

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