I absolutely applaud the sheer tenacity and determination of anyone or any group who manages to get a show anywhere near a stage. I have mentioned in previous reviews that I don’t just believe but know that lights coming up on a performance is the result of a million minor miracles. For the unbelievable degree of drive, and indeed for every one of those mentioned miracles, I raise a very large glass in praise of the enormous effort made by Majella Productions in mounting their premier production, Waiting on You.
What astounds here is not only the enormous risk involved in producing a brand-new piece of writing but that everything about this production looks and feels as slick as one might expect from a far more seasoned company. From the quality of their marketing collaterals to the professionalism of their photography and online video content, this is a company that means business, and nothing says that more than premiering your first show at Southbank’s Lawler Theatre.
Waiting on You shares the story of young Australian traveller Georgi, who like so many young antipodeans, heads abroad for work and adventure. Gaining a job, again as many young antipodeans do, in the hospitality industry, Georgi’s naivety rapidly diminishes the more she is exposed to some of the seedier aspects of big city life and the pitfalls of expendable employment.
Gabrielle Pearson's original new work is earnestly written with witty contemporary dialogue conjuring plenty of laughs in all the right places and for all the right reasons, however, while the play does indeed shine a (somewhat bright) spotlight on many harsh realities, narratively, the overall has a tendency to feel as naïve as its central character.
Perhaps the gap between me and youth is widening, perhaps I saw it all during my own time in (probably) the very same fast paced city, but, while I enjoyed the story, a series of relatively commonplace indulgences and events are simply not high enough stakes to float a fully staged two act play. Maybe I’m a little too experienced (feel free to read as old) but in an age when our lives and travails are fodder for followers, the issues explored in this piece I’m afraid, are not quite as ‘taboo’ as Majella PR might infer and any production of ‘Trainspotting’ will clarify this if you doubt my point.
I genuinely don’t want to detract from the extraordinary efforts of this young team and hope that this work continues to progress and develop with reflection and constructive input. Majella have succeeded in so many ways particularly in assembling a really talented cast and creative team that is without question committed, energetic and thoroughly enthusiastic, however, right now, in its present form, the very impressive online video teasers are actually alluding to something a great deal stronger and a great deal darker than the piece currently delivers.
I sincerely hope this company continues to the ongoing success they genuinely deserve.
Majella Productions present
Waiting on You
by Gabrielle Pearson
Director Gabrielle Pearson
Venue: Lawler Theatre | Southbank Theatre, VIC
Dates: 1 – 3 November 2018