Episodic in structure, it’s a witty, delightful exploration of the relationship between these two wonderfully-drawn contrasting characters, each with their own neuroses, quirks, issues and insecurities.
Samara Hersch, having had great success already as a young director/producer, is clever in her selection of the text, as the next stage in her development as a director, as well as in her choices of cast and crew, recruiting a talented team to mount a very achievable, entertaining piece of theatre.
The backdrop of a ‘snakes and ladders’ board and general set design (Jocelyn Hitchcock), the use of a minimal, but effective multi-media component (Camilla Zanzanaini) and the music interludes (composed by Alana Bruce and performed by Sophie Kinston) all assist in presenting a slick, original interpretation of a strong script.
The actors, Mick Lo Monaco as Lawrence and Daniel Golshevsky as Holloman are clearly skilled performers, portraying their characters with good energy, drawing consistent laughs from the audience, but border on being cartoons and caricatures, parodies of the people they are presenting. I did feel the lack of credibility distanced the audience from engaging completely in the action.
There also seemed to be a lack of dynamic and transition in the performances. Lawrence was a blind optimist at the beginning and literally a blind optimist at the end. Holloman appeared to be the same stuttery mess from start to finish, aside from one or two explosive moments when he admitted he hit Lawrence with the car. I would have liked to see more change and growth in the characters. What if Lawrence fooled the audience into believing he was the rationale, charming, confident, well-deserved salesman of the month and grew gradually more insane, while Holloman grew less stuttery, nervous and insecure as the play progressed? I think the script provided opportunity for this, but the status changes and progression in character development could have been more pronounced.
Overall, it was a solid effort by a director and team with great potential to succeed in this industry. It is no coincidence that the show attracted large audiences. I look forward to seeing more from Samara and her pool of players.
Samara Hersch presents
Lawrence and Holloman
Venue: Studio Two, Northcote Townhall
Dates: 9/10/2007 - 14/10/2007
Times: Tuesday to Saturday @ 9pm, Sunday 14th Oct @ 5pm
Duration: approx. 90 minutes (including interval)
Tickets: Conc $15.00, Full $18.00, Group $13.00, Tightarse Tues $13.00
Bookings: Festival Tix: 03 8412 8777 or www.melbournefringe.com.au