Welcome back to the theatre

Lilydale Athenaeum Theatre. Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS. 234335_15

By Peter Kemp

Lilydale Athenaeum Theatre Company’s first production for 2021 was Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads.

A three-piece monologue with three stories: A Lady of Letters, A Chip in the Sugar and Her Big Chance and each was introduced by a narrator.

As there was only one performer for each story the director, Alan Burrows designed the stage to suit the performers by making them the centre of attraction.

This was achieved by having a smaller stage on top of the normal stage, a writing table and chair to-audience-left and a lounge chair to-audience-right.

Each artist made use of such a set in different ways thus utilising the whole stage area but differently from each other.

The narrator, Fiona Carter opened each scene and handled her role with finesse.

The opening monologue was A Lady of Letters given by Lisa Upson.

Upson was a busy letter writer much to the disappointment of her recipients. Upson handled such a character professionally with good body language, clear diction and good presentation.

The second monologue, A Chip in the Sugar, was a story of a middle-aged man with some form of mental problem still living at home with his mother.

This was performed by Phil Lambert giving a great interpretation of the character. Lambert projected well and was greatly appreciated by the audience.

The third monologue, Her Big Chance was a story of a film extra who is given a big chance to play a starring role in a film.

Angela Glennie gave an outstanding performance in such a role. Very believable and allegedly shows the extremes some girls will go to get a part.

Glennie certainly covered all aspects of such a role giving the audience a view of what goes behind the scenes of show business.

A great welcome back to theatre by the Lilydale Athenaeum Theatre Company after such a disastrous 2020.