– by Chantelle Pitt
What is considered a farce? And what is considered a black comedy? Where is the line between a serious drama with comedic one-liners and something a little darker? Honestly I wasn’t too sure of the difference myself. As I sat in the darkness, waiting for the show to start, I knew I was about to find out.
It’s My Party follows Ron Patterson, who has been given 3 months to live so he invites his children over for a night of party pies and pavlova to celebrate his last 111 minutes of life. But the night doesn’t go according to his agenda. Players include Ron (Raymond Egan), his wife Dawn (Siobhan Vincent), their children, Michael (Richard Hadler), Debbie (Belinda Djurdjevic) and Karen (Laura Williams) plus one ‘out of his depth’ undertaker named Ted (Harrison MacLennan). It’s My Party touches upon themes of homosexuality, marriage, sole parenting and death so it isn’t for the light hearted as there are moments that may make the average patron uncomfortable. What goes on behind closed doors is something that everyone wonders but never wants to ask, and this show gives us the insight into exactly this situation.
Presented by the Darlington Theatre Players of Marloo Theatre, It’s My Party is the directorial feat of Brendan Tobin. This show definitely pulls at the heartstrings and makes you forget the line between what makes you cry with sadness and what makes you cry with laughter. Stand out performances include Vincent as Dawn and Williams as Karen. They were both convincing and believable as their respective characters: Vincent as Ron’s tipsy but lovable wife Dawn and Williams as a self-absorbed and kiss a*** (you know what I mean) daughter. Each actor did their character justice, which is not an easy task in a production where each person has so many emotional problems. There were, however, times when the action became rushed and emotions such as anger became faded where I would have preferred them to be heightened and emphasised. Egan was very strong as Ron Patterson, as was Hadler and Djurdjevic.
With a thoroughly detailed set complete with every piece of bric-a-brac that you may find in a family home, from wedding photos to netball trophies, I found this piece to be very entertaining and definitely an amusing watch.
I highly recommend going to see Marloo Theatre’s production of It’s My Party (And I’ll Die If I Want To).
Warning: Please be advised that there are few instances of swearing through the production. Suitable for persons 15+.
Images courtesy of Darlington Theatre Players.