The blurb on the flyer says this show has been on the go for "ten years of sell-out seasons in seven countries." In fact I have seen it before but it must have been a long time ago because I could hardly recognize it for all the contemporary references that Rankin and Nicholas have worked into the script.
Three middle-management, men coerced into attending an exotically-set weekend workshop of company strategy planning by the Managing Director of the big business that employs them. A scenario ripe with comedic opportunities milked to the max by this talented and supremely energetic cast,
Glynn Nicholas is Jarrad, the said M.D. and the catalyst for all the shenanigans that ensue. Compared to the other three actors his script is small but pivotal. This is a wordy, clever and demanding piece and the other actors David Callan (Geoff), Cameron Knight (Josh) and Mike McLeish (Alex) embrace their roles with verve and panache. The much-married Geoff contrasting nicely with the dissatisfied Alex and the slightly seamy playboy, Josh.
Each character demonstrates his fears, foibles and male weaknesses in a series of snappily-paced vignettes. There were moments of poignant regret for deeds undone, hopes unrealised, handled delicately which aroused tangible audience empathy.
One of the major strengths of this production lies in the clever integration of live musical accompaniment by Musical Director, Greg Ridell. His accompaniment together with the revealing solo songs by each actor, and some surprisingly good vocal ensemble work, worked a treat. Boy bands eat your heart out! Here were some wonderful spoofs of the "Got Talent" TV show variety, complete with stylized choreography.
Anyone who has ever seen Nicholas perform knows his penchant and remarkable talent for mime. In Certified Male, all cast members were called upon to demonstrate this facility constantly throughout the production and indeed were more than competent in the art.
In conclusion the loose ends were neatly tied up and a rousing rocking number had the audience clapping along with gusto.
I could have done without the post-show onstage cast exhortation to tweet and email all our friends about the show, but hey, isn't show business all about self-promotion? I guess it has to be if you are asking the upper end ticket price listed below.
However, I heard more than one audience member echoing the words of the critic for newspaper The Scotsman. "I already want to see it again."
by Scott Rankin & Glynn Nicholas
Director Glynn Nicholas
Venue: Regal Theatre, Perth
Dates: 18 – 26 August, 2012
Tickets: $79.90 – $49.00