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The Dog / The Cat - Fremantle Theatre Company and JackRabbit Productions

Updated: May 16

Reviewed by Kate O'Sullivan

 

It's always nice to see independent theatre mounted in Perth. The double billing of The Dog and The Cat, a collaboration between Fremantle Theatre Company and JackRabbit Productions, brings some homegrown Perth talent to the stage in an interesting double bill of short romantic comedies. The Dog / The Cat was originally mounted at Belvoir Theatre in Sydney in 2015, as a collaboration between Brendan Cowell and Lally Katz, but has found new life in this production, helmed by Michael Abercromby.


The double bill features three talented performers in Siobhan Dow-Hall, James Sweeney and Adam Sollis. All three give us lovely slice-of-life performances in The Dog, a series of relationship-driven, pet-justified scenes in the dog park. The characters here feel like they are the ones we all have in our lives, for better and worse, which is a testament to the performers. In The Cat, without giving too much away, we get a similar energy for the most part, but a very different scenario. A couple breaking up and needing to decide what to do with the cat. The script did venture into the surreal a little too far for this reviewer, but the physicality and comedic delivery from all of the performers keep it on the rails and grounded in some form of realism.


The set was simple but effective. Modular blocks, all covered in the same green AstroTerf-style treatment. These worked the best in the first half, setting the dog park scene clearly, and transitioning fairly well into the second half to create a variety of different spaces. The lighting was well thought out, giving us clear time indications in the first half, and some interesting effects in the second half, with particular note to a small spot used in The Cat (no spoilers here). The costumes do their job, with some lovely details, like a leg-based reveal in The Dog, and character-defining choices in The Cat.


Get down to Fremantle to catch this one if you can. It's a light night at the theatre, with some fun to be had. If the audience the night I attended is anything to go by, you'll have plenty to laugh about and enjoy.


The Dog: Siobhan Dow-Hall and James Sweeney. Image Credit: Deanna Whyte

Reviewer Note: Kate has previously worked with the director, Michael Abercromby, and one of the performers, James Sweeney, in 2006 and 2007. Tickets for this review were provided by the theatre company

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