The ads say “Senior Moments – a comedy revue about ‘old’ people and the young people they have to deal with.” And the ‘old’ people of Adelaide flocked to see it at the Dunstan Playhouse in their droves. The big attraction about such a show is that what they mock and make fun of on stage is so recognisable in reality. It’s comforting to know we're not alone, when for instance we walk half a dozen steps into the kitchen to get something, but by the time we get there we can‘t remember what it was we wanted, that we are nostalgic for “The Advertiser” with an elastic band round it at the door instead of the gripping plastic wrap, or that it’s not that we can’t keep up with technology but that we haven’t yet made the starting line. It’s reality and we can’t help but laugh about it when we see it all reflected in such a comic way performed by such competent and well loved grey-heads.
The young people they have to deal with in this show are Christian Barratt-Hill, Emily Taylor and Kim Lewis and, as you would expect, they often reflect the grown up children trying desperately to deal with nostalgia driven, slightly nutty (or so it seems), occasionally cranky, generally loved and loving but exasperating elderly parents. Apart from this sparkling trio, the main cast are Senior Moments in themselves. When she has 30 years as a presenter on ABC TV’s Play School plus a bevy of popular tv and theatre credits, Benita Collings, looking smart and sophisticated and now a senior (of course) tutor at NIDA, has a right to be on both sides of the stage, a senior and a thespian. Away with Play School; this is Old School. No-one has no more similar rights than those two rotund gents, John Wood and Max Gilles. Their professionalism shines through and their many years of stellar performances mean they both have that comfortable rapport with the audience born of over 40 years of entertaining on stage, screen and television. Russell Newman has had a similar career and all, like good wine, have aged beautifully.
After years as Musical Director here, there and everywhere, the ancient looking, bearded pianist, Geoff Harvey, in black trousers and jacket, white shirt and red socks steered the cast through old songs with apt new words and played a couple of his own mixed style compositions while maybe the cast had a Bex and a quick lie down. Angus FitzSimmons is the Director and, along with Kevin Brumpton, writer and producer. Of course, none of them would have been there without Don Dunstan, long gone but who got a cheeky mention in one of the songs.
It was fun. The audience was very warm and appreciative and the programme’s really worth reading. You can do the quiz that tests how old you are. For instance, “When people say ‘The War’, what war do you first think of?” Vietnam, Korea, WWII, the Battle of Balaclava? You can read about hard glasses cases from which you almost lose a finger every time they snap shut, how if you take your ‘invisible’ hearing aid out for 4 seconds and put it down you’ll never find it again and why hot English mustard doesn’t need a use-by date. There’s also a list of inspiring seniors, none more spectacular than our Queen who “has had the same job for 65 years and her children have still not managed to get her to sell her house and move into a sensible retirement home”.
Return Fire Productions presents
by Kevin Brumpton and Angus FitzSimons
Director Angus FitzSimons
Venue: Dunstan Playhouse | Festival Theatre, King William Road, Adelaide SA
Dates: 6 – 10 February 2018
Tickets: $45 – $65
Bookings: 131246 | www.seniormomentsshow.com.au
MELBOURNE From 14 February 2018
HOBART From 21 February 2018
CHATSWOOD From 28 February 2018
PARRAMATTA From 14 March 2018
PERTH From 21 March 2018