When Will You Be Home? | Forty Forty HomeForty Forty Home is a new theatre company whose premiere production When Will You Be Home? is being presented at the Dog Theatre in Footscray. The season features two short one-woman plays, To See Her by Laura Jean McKay and Camberwell House by Amelia Roper.

Laura Jean McKay’s To See Her begins the evening and is performed beautifully by Anna McCarthy. The play tells the story of a late night bus ride from Toowoomba to Ipswich and the observations of a young mother who is trying to get home to see her daughter. The play is full of wonderful observations that sometimes threaten to overwhelm the dramatic action, but are ultimately kept in check by McCarthy’s performance and the subtle direction of Amy Turton.

Amelia Roper’s Camberwell House contrasts the first play perfectly and has a delicate if at times fragile performance by Shirley Cattunar. Camberwell House details the monotony of life as an older person, but also the need to find meaning in simple actions such as a conversation held on the stairs between neighbours. Cattunar’s performance is sometimes uneven, but Roper’s writing admirably conveys the life of an older woman, and although at times it feels that the writing could be a little more tightly edited, this is a minor complaint in what is a fascinating and humorous play.

As a production When Will You Be Home? doesn’t overstay its welcome and beautifully pairs two plays that share a common thread of tragedy, sadness and ultimately life-affirming humour. Amy Turton’s direction succeeds in bringing the right emotions out of the performers and the design by Rafaella McDonald is simple and effective. One complaint, although minor, is that the changeover between plays took way too long and brought the audience out of the world that they were watching.

With When Will You Be Home?, Forty Forty Home have proven that they have a real desire to tell interesting and provocative stories and it will be fascinating to watch their progression as a company, particularly after this strong beginning.

forty forty home and the dog theatre present
Written by Amelia Roper and Laura Jean McKay

Directed by Amy Turton

Venue: The Dog Theatre | 42a Albert Rd, Footscray, VIC
Dates: Thursday 22nd – Saturday 24th April and Wednesday 28th April – Saturday 1st May 8pm
Tickets: $18Full/$15 Concession
Bookings: www.thedogtheatre.com

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