‘Rabbit Hole’ is heartbreaking tale, but it has a positive message and many light-hearted passages of comedy. Written by David Lindsay-Abaire, it premiered in 2006 in New York and the next year won a Pulitzer Prize for Drama. This beautifully scripted play not surprisingly attained several Tony Award nominations.
‘No Bed of Roses’ is a very black, adult comedy, written and directed by Irish born, multi-award winning WA playwright, Noel O'Neill. The storyline is semi-autobiographical, being based on his teen years spent in London. Noel is also a talented director and performer, having won an award as best supporting actor.
The highlight of this production is undoubtably John Bell's central performance as Falstaff. It's a performance that grows and grows, full of humour and pathos. It stands with his other great character roles: Richard the Third and Malvolio. It's a joy to watch John Bell really enjoy himself, the jolly old man one moment, father figure the next, dirty jokes and tenderness alternating as well. And we should remember what a lean, urbane man he is in real life - not the chubby scruff-bag he is in this production of Henry the Fourth Parts One and Two at the WA State Theatre Centre by Bell Shakespeare Company. I must say that the Centre holds up as a wonderful venue for this epic style of theatre. Bell is well supported. Matthew Moore is extremely good and natural as Prince Hal. In fact the whole cast are absolutely committed. Sean O'Shea, (always good), shines in his various roles including a hilarious Justice Shallow as does Wendy Strehlow as a feisty Mistress Quickly. Credit must go to David Whitney, dignified as Henry 1V, the play carrying his name but forcing him to remain pained and stony faced while everyone else has all the fun.
‘Dear Charlotte’ is a fascinating exploration of Charlotte Brontë’s imagination at her coming of age, as considered by American stage and television playwright, Joy Gregory. Joy does not avoid difficult topics, one of her latest plays being ‘How Blacks and Whites Think and Feel about the American Obsession’.
‘Bell Shakespeare’s Henry 4’ is John Bell’s hilarious adaptation of one of Shakespeare’s more powerful plays, which, due to the length (three and a half hours) is rarely produced. This is a shame as there are some tremendous characters to be found, the most notable being Falstaff.
Hot Room Theatre Group
in association with Horizon Theatre presents