The Importance of Being Miriam | Andrew McKinnonPhotos – Gavin D Andrew

Nothing is important about Miriam, apparently. Nothing at all. It's just a cheeky title. Or so the irrepressible Ms Miriam Margolyes would have us believe in her opening lines. Well it may not be important, but this wonderful collection of personal anecdotes and passages from her favourite writers is yet another masterful performance from one of our most cherished performers.

Miriam has already performed Dicken's Women to much acclaim, but this time she has decided to create a show that is far more personal, combining elements that deal with the art of communication and her connection to theatre and literature.

Joined onstage by pianist John Martin, who lends ample support, Miriam takes the audience on a journey that includes a sing-a-long, and some of the most hilarious stories taken from her life and experiences.

Amongst the most entertaining, a delectable tale about Dame Maggie Smith, an unforgetable meeting with a Queen who was definitely not amused, and performing in front of two thousand naked lesbians.

Along the way, Shakespeare, Dickens and even Clive James get a look-in.

A few months ago, Ms Margolyes gave a superb one-woman performance that I and many others called a masterclass in acting. Here with Importance, she takes that lesson even further, illustrating how to not just play a character, but how to tell a story, in a way that is captivating and infectious. Few performers can exceed their mastery at delivering a line with a look or facial expression given at just the right moment.

Staged by Peter J Adams, designed by Marion Boyce (costumes), Matthew Aberline (set) and Robert Cuddon (lighting), this engaging production is a splendid evening's entertainment.

Andrew McKinnon presents

Devised and directed by Peter J. Adams

Venue: Playhouse Arts Centre Melbourne
Dates: 19 – 22 March 2015

Also – 
Touring nationally
March 19 to May 24 2015