Concourse Theatre Chatswood until February 26
By Angus FitzSimons and Kevin Brumpton Directed by Angus FitzSimons
Reviewed by Ron Lee, CSP, at Riverside Theatre, Parramatta
You must be getting old when some of your mates are in a production titled Senior Moments.
Under the musical direction of the immortal Geoff Harvey (yes, he still is alive), a truly seasoned and experienced cast jokes, reminisces and sings about the glorious past and frustrations of the present day; “After Buddy Holly, music went downhill.”
The show starts with John Derum (Narrator Neville in The Aunty Jack Show) doing a role call of specific stereotypes such as “the chip bag rustlers”, “the snorers” and “the talkers” in the audience to make sure every kind of senior is in the house.
Then there are songs such as “Judging Young People Just by Their Haircuts”. Showing that he still has the singing talent and the ability to remember scripts, Derum sings ”I am The Very Model of a Modern Age Retiree”, a tribute to the song from The Pirates of Penzance.
We are taken to The Senior Nostalgic Medical Centre at which the most common healing advice is, “walk it off”. That was at a time when, if a footballer sustained an injury on the field, the trainer would run out and whack him across the face with a damp, bacteria-riddled, “magic sponge”, and that would be sufficient to get him playing again.
The Finders, consisting of two guitarists, a double bass player and a female singer, play some of their folk hits from the early 1960s. Uncannily similar to The Seekers, they perform songs and reminisce about those good old days. Unlike The Seekers, their patter is dated and filled with dad jokes.
We’re all advised to purchase an app named, “Who The Hell is That?” for those who see an actor they’ve seen before on television in another show but can’t remember their name.
A highlight is Old School, a tribute to Play School and is hosted by none other than Benita Collings (as Miss Jane in recognition of Romper Room), who performed in the ABC show for thirty years and is it’s most recognised presenter.
Also starring in the show are Lex Marinos and Russell Newman. I first saw Newman in 1980 in Clowneroonies at the Belvoir Downstairs. He was in a cast that included another young actor named Geoffrey Rush. Marinos is now 68 years old and is not the long-haired 31 year-old we remember as Bruno in Kingswood Country.
In age contrast, the supporting cast consists of Christian Barratt-Hill, Nicola Parry and Kim Lewis.
Senior Moments, to some, will seem more like a musical docudrama than a humorous look at Australian seniors.
The show is compelling from beginning to end was brilliantly conceived and performed. The writers’ observational skills are exceptional.
Lex Marinos was heard saying that the combined show business experience of the cast is more than 300 years, and it shows. Each cast member is a triple threat, and with such vast backgrounds, how could Senior Moments be anything but amazing? Whether you’re a senior or a young whipper-snapper, you’ll love it.