Tag: Tosh Greenslade


Sordid, outrageous, and unashamedly funny

By Myron My

The title says it all really. Presented by Out Cast Theatre for a limited return season, Distinguished Gentlemen (But Really Just A Couple of ***ts) is a riotous look at two dirty old Regency gentlemen who lust after a mysterious young stranger. The two scheme their way to not only one-up each other, but also to ensnare the stranger into their bedroom, however they’re not the only ones with a trick or two up their… sleeve.

Distinguished Gentlemen.jpg

Steven Dawson and Wayne Pearn as Sir George Barrington and Lord Henry Burridge are clearly having a lot of fun with their characters, who are well established with enough backstory and motivation to make them satisfying and almost believable, apart from the sheer absurdity of the story. Tosh Greenslade as Simon Latimer, the attractive young man, rounds out the trio and does well in maintaining Simon as the “straight” role and ensuring the narrative pushes forward. While I can see how a sense of mystery to his character is required, a few hints and teases here and there might have allowed him to be as well fleshed out a character as Sir Barrington and Lord Burridge were.

Dawson also serves as writer and director of Distinguished Gentlemen and while keeping with the language of the period, manages to squeeze in more sexual innuendos and puns than you could poke a stick at. The jokes might be lewd and the humour crude, but they are entertaining and for the most part, unexpected and refreshing. The story is a little rough around the edges and could do with some – er – tightening, but again, its outrageousness and salaciousness are what make this farcical piece of theatre a delight to watch as the three men go head-to-head (so to speak) to get what they desire.

At its core Distinguished Gentlemen (But Really Just A Couple of ***ts) is a sordid tale about power, lust and revenge but with a dollop of buffoonery and plenty of buggery. These distinguished gentlemen may be a couple of ***ts, but they are a couple of funny ***ts in a show that will definitely have you feeling a little hot under the collar – from laugher.

Venue: The Butterfly Club, 5 Carson Place, Melbourne
Season: Until 15 January | 8.30pm 
Tickets: $32 Full | $28 Conc 
Bookings: The Butterfly Club


A brave war effort in theatre

By Anastasia Russell-Head

This new Melbourne production of Frank McGuinness’ iconic play Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme visually transports us to another place and time.

From the moment we entered the theatre space at the Brunswick Mechanics’ Institute and were confronted with a mist-shrouded cross-shaped catwalk-style stage, the somber palette and earthy textures of World War I set the mood very effectively.

Telling the story of eight young Northern Irish soldiers who are thrown together by circumstance, and who must navigate their own fears and prejudices, this play is compelling in its subject-matter but yet left me strangely unsatisfied. There were some fine performances from the ensemble cast, who bravely took up the challenge of the Irish accents, and Dan Walls is to be commended for his portrayal of the subversive Kenneth Pyper. Nicholas Brien also showed depth and sensitivity as the young blacksmith David Craig.

The play itself is a little heavy-handed – as The Guardian’s Michael Billington writes, McGuinness puts an “excessive emphasis on an apparent Ulster death-wish”. The shortcomings in the script, coupled with perhaps some lack of subtlety in direction, prevented this story from fulfilling its potential to be truly moving. Lighter comedic moments really hit the mark, however, evoking genuine laughs from the audience, and providing a bitter-sweet counterpoint to the main plot.

Visually and spatially this production is quite successful. Having the audience in the round gives visual depth and interesting angles from which to view the action, and I enjoyed the surprising moments of intimacy which this offered. This stage layout is of course much more challenging for sight lines and lighting – a challenge that was generally met very well.

Hoy Polloy has taken the challenge of a tough ensemble play – a work not without its flaws – and has produced a solid production supported by an excellent cast of young actors. If you want to see the next generation of leading men strut their stuff, this is the show to see.

Featuring: Nicholas Brien, Angus Brown, Karl Cottee, Kevin Dee, Mathew Gelsumini, Tosh Greenslade, David Passmore, Ian Rooney & Dan Walls

Season runs until 13 August, 8pm Tue to Sat

Mechanics Institute Performing Arts Centre (cnr Sydney & Glenlyon Rd, Brunswick)

$30 /$24/$20 Tue

Bookings www.trybooking.com

 Enquiries 9005 6734