Photos – Grant Fraser
Enright On The Night is a “just right” tribute to Nick Enright, a celebratory bioplay in song, dance and story, a toast to a towering figure in, of and for, Australian theatre.
The Genesian Theatre is the right and fitting company to stage this heartfelt homage to Nick Enright as he was a member of the theatre early in his career, performing in A Doll’s House and Uncle Vanya, and directing London Assurance, and this production is delightfully done with an assurance befitting the Enright legacy.
Devised by David Mitchell and Melvyn Morrow, (Morrow taught Nick at St. Ignatius’ College, Riverview) and directed by Roger Gimblett, Enright On The Night features four fabulously talented femmes – Angela Ayers, Juliette Coates, Rosanna Hurley and Lana Domeney. They banter, balladeer and belt out a lively, lyrical love letter.
Fact and anecdote combine with songs that influenced Nick – notably Gilbert & Sullivan and Cole Porter – or written by him, or connected to him in both personal and professional capacities, like the songs of Peter Allen. We are reminded that Nick Enright wrote the book for the Broadway smash, The Boy From Oz, one of the great successes he achieved in the United States, like his Oscar nominated screenplay for the film Lorenzo’s Oil.
But, like Peter Allen, Nick always called Australia home, and Broadway and Tinsel Town could not tether him for long. Enright On The Night joyfully reminds us of Nick’s original plays, like On The Wallaby, Daylight Saving and The Man with Five Children, his adaptations and collaborations like Cloudstreet, Come In Spinner, The Venetian Twins, Summer Rain and Mary Bryant, all testament to his love of the Australian voice.
Musical director Dion Condack accompanies the quartet of choristers on stage with piano and patter and choreographer Debbie Smith keeps the steps simple but entirely effective and affecting. Lighting and Sound design by Michael Schell is excellent.
There’s a song included that Nick wrote for Nancy Hayes and this production would fit nicely at the theatre that bears her name. This show certainly has the legs and heart to tour.
Well done Genesians for delivering such an entertaining, enlightening, and ever so energetically enjoyable, Enright On The Night. Too right!
Genesian Theatre Company Inc presents
Enright On The Night
devised by David Mitchell and Melvyn Morrow
Director Roger Gimblett
Venue: Genesian Theatre | 420 Kent Street, Sydney NSW
Dates: 23 March – 13 April 2019