By Colin Flaherty
A sequel to the 2010 Midsumma show From Arsehole to Breakfast (fear not if you didn’t see it, the characters are easy enough to get acquainted with), Never Say Always sees a group of friends and family coming together for the commitment ceremony (although it’s deemed a marriage by all) between Steve (Daniel Madrigali) and Joe (Francisco Lopez) in Bali.
The Bali setting of this play ensures that humorous situations are plentiful. There is some fun to be had with some racy encounters and lots of scatological references about an unfortunate guest. They play up the comical conflicts and amusing moments of awkwardness, but many scenes appear to be merely excuses for the characters to talk about the upcoming nuptials in various exotic locales.
The cast do a good job at bringing the characters to life with Marcus Ingleby a particular stand out as the bitchy queen Nathan. Some of the actors have difficulty projecting their voices and this isn’t a huge issue in the intimate venue, but if you have hearing problems you would be advised to sit towards the front.
This is another situation of a play advertising itself as comedy but leaning too much towards drama. The script is rather heavy handed in covering the issue of same sex marriage. Although this is the crux of the performance it feels too didactic. There are quite a few humorous lines that get big laughs but on the whole the plot is rather serious. Thumbing its nose at comedic theatrical conventions the play ends on a tragic note. This is possibly keeping the door open for a follow up but it doesn’t leave the audience in a chipper mood.
It’s understandable that writer Warrick Glynn wants to reach a wide audience with his message of equal marriage rights, as opposed to preaching to the choir at Midsumma, but this show doesn’t exactly fit neatly into a Comedy Festival.
Never Say Always is on at Mechanics Institute Performing Arts Centre