Tag: Genevieve Giuffre

REVIEW: Little Ones Theatre Presents THE HOUSE OF YES

Dysfunctional comedy all in the family

By Myron My

It took me exactly 37 seconds to realize that I was going to be in pure bliss watching Little Ones Theatre‘s production of The House Of Yes, a bizarre yet hilariously witty play by Wendy Macleod.

The House of Yes_Photo Credit_ Sarah Walker Photography

It’s Thanksgiving in 1983, and Marty (Benjamin Rigby) has returned home with his fiancée Lesly (Anna McCarthy). As we meet the rest of the family – his mentally unstable and Kennedy-obsessed twin sister “Jackie O” (Genevieve Giuffre), younger brother Anthony (Paul Blenheim) and matriarch, Mrs. Pascal (Josh Price, in a superb casting decision) – the domestic Pandora’s box is well and truly opened in this satirical play on class, incest and mental illness.

For the most part, Giuffre succeeds in bringing out the fragility and loneliness in the challenging role of Jackie O but it is the scenes involving McCarthy and Blenheim that allow for a deeper honesty and vulnerability to be present. Unfortunately I was not at all convinced by Rigby’s performance as Marty, who really only shines in his scenes with Giuffre which are filled with an infinite amount of palpable sexual chemistry.

Price as Mrs. Pascal is truly an unusual choice, but at the same time a perfect decision to convey the dysfunctional ties of the family, and personify the desires and morals that otherwise seem to be lacking in the Pascal household.

Director Stephen Nicolazzo has done a great job in crafting the pace and delivery in The House of Yes, and there is never a dull moment on stage. The set and lighting design of the Pascal home further articulates the misguided values and the mindset of a family that is caught up in its own bourgeois reality. Eugyeene Teh’s all-pink set contrasts with the darkness that envelops the family, and the lighting by Katie Sfetkidis successfully builds the tension towards the climatic final scene, even with all the laughs and antics.

Little Ones Theatre have managed to bring their own unique touch to this compelling story of a family whose desires and wishes to lead the lives they want only ends in devastation for themselves and each other. The House of Yes gets a resounding yes from me.

Venue: Theatreworks, 14 Acland St, St Kilda.

Season: Until 13 December | Tues – Sat 8:00pm

Tickets: $30 Full | $25 Concession

Bookings: 9534 3388 or http://www.theatreworks.org.au


60s spoof cinema becomes Midsumma highlight

By Myron My

Psycho Beach Party is a glorious camp dive into the 60s surf as we follow Chicklet’s (Ash Flanders) journey to becoming a female surfer. Along the way we learn of a psycho who likes to shave women’s hair from top to bottom, witness some “unexpected” love, and meet an overbearing mother with a secret or two of her own.

Filmed as the 2000 queer cult classic of the same name, Little Ones Theatre have brought all the joy and hilarity of Charles Busch’s spoof horror beach flick script back to the stage where it all began.

Psycho Beach Party

The play’s set is adorned with leopard prints as far as the eye can see: umbrella, beach chairs, sand, backdrop and even the majority of the costumes are all decked in various shades and patterns of black and yellow. Despite scene changes, the set never altered and perhaps allowing the audience to cast their eyes on something different would have better distinguished between different locales. The gloriously campy musical numbers – and quirky choreography – were a joy to watch and I did wish there had been a few more of these.

All the performers did extremely well with their characters and they were clearly having fun playing these absurd beach-loving stereotypes. The standouts for me would have to be Flanders, Genevieve Giuffre as Berdine and Zoe Boesen as Marvel Ann. Despite having quite a few different stories with not much narrative direction, the various erratic plots do all get wrapped up quite nicely by the end of the show.

But you are not watching Psycho Beach Party for its storyline or the depth of its characters. It is – dare I say it – like a 60s beach version of The Rocky Horror Picture Show meets Friday the 13th Psycho Beach Party cranks it up to 11 with its over-the-top persona, some sharp (and sexually punning) dialogue and a few fabulous music interludes for good measure.

Playing as part of Midsumma Festival, Psycho Beach Party is as camp as the proverbial row of tents but this is definitely one beach where you’ll want to pitch yours (yes, I went there).

Venue: Theatreworks, 14 Acland St, St Kilda.

Season: Until 19 January | 7:30pm

Tickets: $32 Full | $22 Concession

Bookings:  9534 3388 or http://www.theatreworks.org.au