A sneeze on the back of the head of General Mikhail Brassilhov in the theatre doesn’t turn out well for Ivan Cherdyakov. Peter Semyonych, seducer of women, attempts to show us how to sleep with a man’s wife, by using the husband to do the deed. Mrs Schukin is hardly impressed with the fact her husband was fired after five months of being unable to work, and she expects something to be done about that.
Funny and light-hearted amusement, The Good Doctor is modern American playwright Neil Simon’s take on the classical Russian works of Chekhov, as the Writer takes us through a series of sketches of his writings.
The further director Hew Parhman (forced to make a guest appearance on opening night as the cast missed their opening cue) and the five-person ensemble push the humour and clowning, the more successful the play becomes. Andrew Pantelis has a tendency to give too much reverence to his lines, particularly in the role of the Writer, but loses some of the stiffness as the play progresses.
Working in the small and inflexible Studio Space at the Bakehouse Theatre with limited sets and lighting the play truly rests on the shoulders of its cast. All actors need to work on development of their characters: including creating a bigger distinction between roles that doesn’t rely on simply changing accents, a rather inexplicable choice.
Regardless, the production belongs to Kyle Kaczmarczyk and, at times, Eddie Morrison as they demonstrate their ability to find the extremities of the comedy in Simon’s text. From the awkward and gangly physicality of Kaczmarczyk, to the overbearing or nervous energy of Morrison the biggest laughs are brought.
While the production has some shortcomings and the youth of the ensemble shows, ultimately it achieves a night of jovial and farcical entertainment. One hopes that through a dedication to creating self-produced works, the artists involved in companies such as this are only going to grow.
Accidental Productions present
The Good Doctor
by Neil Simon
Venue: Bakehouse Theatre | 255 Angas Street, Adelaide
Dates: 27 Oct - 6 Nov 2010
Duration: 90 mins plus 15 minute interval
Tickets: Adults $22/Concession $18/Fringe Benefits $16