Peter Green, reviewing THE MELBOURNE MONOLOGUES on the ‘Arts Weekly’ program, Radio 3MBS-FM, on 12th Nov. spoke enthusiastically both about Melbourne Writers’ Theatre and the show, which ran from 8th – 13th November at La Mama Courthouse: ‘Tuesday night at the Carlton Courthouse: THE MELBOURNE MONOLOGUES, from the Melbourne Writers’ Theatre, 6 works from 5 writers, directed by Elizabeth Walley

MWT, younger than La Mama – 34 against 49 years established – was founded in 1982, a year after the demise of the APG at the vacated Pram Factory. It was founded by Melbourne writers including Jack Hibberd, Alex Miller plus Dinny A’Hearn.

It secured the Carlton Courthouse as a home before losing it to La Mama in 1991.

The MWT was a moveable theatrical feast; performing a season of new Australian – actually, Melbourne – work upstairs at the Athenaeum, Nine Little Australians; a season at the original Melbourne Museum; and Lost Victoria on the neglected Herring Island; not forgetting working in the derelict YMCA building, behind the Hamer Hall.

I must declare an interest. I was a member in the 80s and directed several productions and reading, including one in the Athenaeum season.

Enough with the nostalgia already! THE MELBOURNE MONOLOGUES, playing till Sunday 13th, is a 6-pack from 5 different writers – 4 females, 1 male. ‘The Letter’ by Mazz Ryan; ‘The Visit’ and ‘Humpster Dumpster’ by Bruce Shearer; ‘Tokyo Love Hotel’ by Christine Croyden; ‘The Man in the Moon’ by Louise Baxter; ‘How Does Your Garden Grow?’ by Alison Knight.

Strong and clever writing from Christine Croyden for ‘Tokyo Love Hote’l, and great performance from Grace Pyone, the actor. Evidence of good research – the voice of her character authentic, or so it seemed to me, and the dramatic development sure! – it was a performance, not a recitation. Stephanie King, in Alison Knight’s ‘How Does Your Garden Grow?’ – a foolish wife infatuated with the mysterious neighbour with mountains of blood and bone; and an equally good performance from Sean Paisley-Collins in Louise Baxter’s ‘The Man in the Moon’.

Where the writing was good, so were the performances. Whether it was inspiration from the actors, clever casting or strong direction, I couldn’t be sure.’

Peter Green, ‘Arts Weekly’, 3MBS – FM, 12/11/16.

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