top of page

A Night Of Comedy - Stirling Players

Reviewed by Kelly Salathiel


Seasons of One Act Plays have become increasingly popular over the past few years after the cancellation of the WA State Dramafest weekend. They are a great way for up-and-coming directors, writers and actors to get their start in full-on community theatre.

Stirling Players' opening season for 2024 is a selection of three one-acts under the title of A Night of Comedy. The three shows are The End of the Beginning, written by Sean O'Casey and directed by first-time director Joe Teakle; The Surprise Party, written by Peter Flanigan and directed by Peter and Liz Flanigan; and finally The Local, written and directed by Siobhan Wright.

The three performances ranged in settings, timings and themes, all with the comedic theme overriding them. In The End of the Beginning, set in 1930s Ireland, we see Darry Berrill (Peter O'Connor) bet his wife Lizzie (Josephine Wayling) that he can do a better job of the household chores as he's the dominant gender. She heads out to mow while he stays inside, and chaos ultimately ensues.

The Surprise Party is set in 2022, after the main hype of COVID but whilst it's still around in the community. Ray (David Young) is about to turn 90 - but he doesn't want any hype or celebration around this big 'milestone' but the family have other ideas. Led by his son Brian (Jonathan Freedman) the three other generations plan a surprise party for the big day, but when it finally comes around, Ray has his own surprise for his family! Throw in a COVID scare and a faulty generator and you can guess that nothing is straightforward.

Finally in The Local, we find ourselves back in present time Dublin, Ireland, in what's a typical local pub. A normal night for the locals gets an unexpected visit from an old Irish local, visiting from Australia after many years for some 'unfinished business'. What seems to be an ordinary night takes a turn towards the end when Andrew (Peter O'Connor) takes a call and the audience discovers what his 'unfinished business' actually is.

Overall the three performances were well rounded, although some points didn't feel completely polished off, this could have just been from opening night jitters. Some of the cast were a little hard to hear at times, more projection was needed for the audience at the back to hear them, and some words got lost in the Irish accents - especially if the character was getting angry and speaking fast.

There were lots of laughs coming from the audience, and it was easy to relate to each of the three situations. And each of the sets worked very well for the plays.

If you are looking for a night out to sit back, relax and have a laugh, A Night of Comedy might be just what you're after.

Peter O'Connor and Russell Chandler (The End of The Beginning). Image provided by theatre company

Reviewer Note: Tickets for this review were provided by the theatre company.


bottom of page