by Genevieve Hegney and Catherine Moore
Director Janine Watson
Photos Phil Erbacher
Ensemble Theatre until July 21
Reviewed by Ron Lee, CSP
The second opening night at the Ensemble Theatre in a week proved to be a delightful surprise.
In five weeks, the impressively creative and performing talents of Catherine Moore and Genevieve Hegney, under the guidance of director Janine Watson, produced a thought-provoking, topically satirical, refreshingly entertaining and extremely funny two-handed piece of theatre.
Unhappy butcher Felicity Bacon is having a chat with a pursed-lipped, officious Centrelink interviewer and the high-achieving, recently separated Joanne Truebody is interviewed by a young and immature Centrelink employee who could have recently left school. All of the characters are instantly recognisible. Frustrated by the red tape of the government department, Bacon and Truebody decide to combine their talents to provide services for which they’re entirely unsuited and unqualified, proving again that if you put yourself forward with ultimate, unshakable confidence and certainty, you can persuade people to believe anything.
Much of the performance seems improvised but I was assured that the improv mostly occurred during the rehearsal period and those bits became parts of the show. It’s like watching a very skilled stand-up comedian looking like they could have been making it up on the spot but in fact the routine has been workshopped and timed to perfection.
The two contrasting performance styles work brilliantly and Catherine Moore knows how to pull a really good face.
Not wanting to be a spoiler, the finale also demonstrates that apart from exceptional writing skills, amazing energy, superb comedic timing and supreme theatrical awareness, Hegney and Moore show that they have impressive sets of pipes.
Book to experience Unqualified and you, too, will be surprised, impressed and entertained. I might even go again.