The Give and Take | State Theatre Company of SALeft - Chris Asimos and George Kapiniaris. Cover - Rhiannon Owen, George Kapiniaris, Matthew Crook (back) and Chris Asimos. Photos - Shane Reid

One of Tony McNamara’s funniest plays, The Give and Take is a blithe exploration of that old cliché 'money can’t buy you love.'

The story portrays the financial and psychological troubles of one family, as told from the point of view of Don, a middle-aged executive who has just been told that his wife has left him. His three children aren’t surprised because they drove their mother to the airport. For Don, the daily grind of earning a crust at a job he detests is nothing compared to the mortification he feels when he realises that his children only like him for his money. With its masterful mix of humour, compassion and dejection, the play is a reminder that sometimes, simply getting to the office each morning can be a heroic act. Ultimately, it’s a satirical sit-com that draws masses of laughter from the everyday give-and-take of ordinary people.

There’s not a weak performance in the production, a truth made more distinguished by the apparent effortlessness with which the cast functions as an ensemble. George Kapiniaris plays Don Locke like his character on the RAA adverts and the result is delightfully funny. Matthew Crook (Neil Locke), Rhiannon Owen (Julie Locke) and Chris Asimos (Damien Locke) are appropriately despicable and believable as an anarchist, corporate climber, and gym junkie respectively. All are engaging and subtlety nuanced despite their caricatures being spoiled brats. Peter Michell is enjoyable as Don’s sickeningly obsequious underling Jim Harris, and Pip Miller is credible as the mentally deranged CEO AJ Orlofsky. McNamara’s hilarious script certainly helps the performances but so does Director, Catherine Fitzgerald’s least is best style of direction.

Without doubt, The Give and Take is a crowd-pleaser.

State Theatre Company of South Australia presents
The Give and Take
by Tony McNamara

Director Catherine Fitzgerald

Venue: Dunstan Playhouse | Adelaide Festival Centre, King William Road, Adelaide
Dates: 29 October - 21 November, 2010
Duration: approx. 1 hour 45 minutes (no interval)
Tickets: $45.00 - $29.00

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