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Secret Bridesmaids' Business - Roxy Lane Theatre

Reviewed by Kate O'Sullivan

 

To quote the Langdon Elwyn Mitchell, "Marriage is three parts love and seven parts forgiveness of sins". And so it must be in Roxy Lane Theatre's current season of Secret Bridesmaids' Business, a comedy set around the night before a wedding where everything that can go wrong does go wrong.


Whilst this is not a new script to grace the community theatre stage in Perth, it is a lovely, easy night out at the theatre. Elizabeth Coleman's script gives light and shade and is a well-crafted story that allows the performers to enjoy themselves in the well-fleshed-out characters.


The whole cast does a solid job of giving us clearly defined and different characters. We get nice differentiation between the sweet bride (a ride on the emotional roller-coaster by Peri Watson, with nice turns of emotion that felt realistic), the archetypical cool friend in Lucy (with lovely stage presence from Rhiannon Dick) and the 'boring' homebody mother friend in Angela (Michaela Davis giving a lovely layered performance). Geraldine Harris also gave a nice gravitas and station to Meg's mother Colleen. Some moments could have used a little more proximity work or character contact, as we don't quite feel the long-standing relationships between the characters as strongly as one might hope, but that is a minor issue in what are solid performances all around.


There was a nice attention to detail in all the individual character's monologues as well as the main scenes. The pieces that focused on both Meg and Naomi's perspectives are well timed in the show and were given considered and layered performances by both Watson and Jade Gilich (pulling double duty as director as well). Some opening night nerves caused a few lines to come out a little stilted and fumbled in Act 1, and some rushed through lines by some other characters, not quite giving the audience the chance to feel the emotional weight behind what was being said. This did ease throughout the show though, and I'm sure will improve even more over the season.


The set, whilst very much setting the scene well, does suffer from being on a very deep stage. As such, due to the placement of the twin beds to the back of the stage, there is a disconnect between the audience and the action that takes place on them. On the other hand, the scenes at the downstage table work well, other than a few moments where people entering through the door get slightly upstaged by those around the table. These are minor issues that do not impact the overall flow of the show but are ones to note for future directors on the Roxy Lane stage.


The lighting, although simplistic, does a really solid job of adding atmosphere where needed. The use of the bedside lamp at the end of Act 1, and the spotlighting for the monologue sections both worked really well. The sound effects were a nice addition, especially the shower noises, adding to the energy on the stage. I did find myself longing for a little music during the later scenes in Act 1, just to keep the 'girls night' energy going, but that's more of a wish than a necessity. The costuming is nice, again reinforcing those character archetypes and telling us what we need to know even before the characters open their mouths.


The small audience on opening night enjoyed themselves immensely. One for a girls-night-out to the theatre, or just for a laugh.


The Cast of Secret Bridesmaids' Business at Roxy Lane Theatre

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

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