Money and Friends

DATES
Cut Price Preview: Thursday 21st July at 7:30pm. All tickets $30
Gala in association with Noosa Alive: Friday 22nd July at 7:30pm. All tickets $75 – includes welcome drink and supper. 
Gala tickets ON SALE Tuesday 19th April.

Other
Evenings 7.30pm: Wed 27/7, Thurs 28/7, Fri 29/7, Thu 4/8, Fri 5/8, Thu 11/8, Fri 12/8, Sat 13/8
Matinees 2.00pm: Sat 23/7, Sun 24/7, Sat 30/7, Sun 31/7, Sat 6/8 & Sun 7/8

TICKETS
Adults $40 | Concessions $33
Member/Group $30 | U18 $28

GENRE
Comedy

WARNING: This play features adult concepts and language. The easily offended must not attend!

A classic David Williamson comedy about the true cost of priceless friendships.

Set in the holiday beach resort town of Crystal Inlet, four highly-strung couples who regularly meet to escape and dissect their big city lives, grapple with how much their friendships are truly worth.

Directed by Rory Williamson

“Money and Friends” – a review by Simon Denver

Last night I saw the opening night of David Williamson’s “Money and Friends” at Noosa Arts Theatre. Whenever you go to the theatre and the curtains open you want it to be good. This show was. It was all you could ask for from an opening night. Slick, Tight, Engaging and Entertaining. Once again Noosa Arts reinforce their dominant position among the Community Theatres on the Coast. If you haven’t booked then do so. This season should sell out. And so it should be. A funny, intelligent and incisive script and a production with quality across the board. 

So? Would you lend money to a friend in need? And we’re not talking about the odd nifty fifty – were talking serious cash, many digits before the decimal point? This play explores this simple premise through the lives of the “well off”.  The sort of people who flaunt their wealth and splash their cash around as if it was cheap cologne on a western suburb’s Buck’s night. Even though the script is over thirty years old it still works well – and that is because it still has relevance. The money issue is the backbone but the script has liberal doses about recessions, environmental issues and climate change. If it wasn’t for the soundtrack you could forget this was 1991. 

All round nice guy and mathematician Peter, Frank Wilkie (And such a pleasure to watch him deliver a great passive character), lives in a peaceful beach house in a coastal village set to become the next real estate paradise. His rich and powerful social circle have all bought holiday homes there. When they all arrive for some R and R they bring enough ego, narcissism, wealth, privilege and paranoia in their luggage to turn this paradise into a toxic pit! What they don’t know is Peter is about to lose his house. 

Great set. Very open for the actors but complete for the audience. Correct use of back projection not only enhanced the set but made the scene changes quick and effective. At the press of a button the locations changed from one house to another. (A lot of groups should realise that long, protracted scene changes destroy the impetus of a show). The lights were warm and rich (not surprising with Travis MacFarlane as Lighting designer).

Director Rory Williamson excelled in the primary function of any direction – he got his cast on the same page. With one foot on the brake, one foot on the accelerator, and a variety of different gears his production did the script proud. I mentioned earlier that it was an intelligent comedy. Having said that, it had a healthy slab of almost cartoon comedy stitched through it. It all worked because everyone involved was committed and under clear leadership.

The ensemble work was a pleasure to view. No weak links. A volatile mix of deeply flawed individuals. These were:

 Conrad (Jackson O’Sullivan) A morally elastic documentary film maker about to make some serious Euros and Greenbacks to add to his domestic success. His new pregnant wife Jacqui (Rebecca Munasinghe) who is protecting the pot of gold she has married against the demands of his endless brood of children and ex-wives. Justin (Yannick Marot), Conrad’s first born of the brood who is looking for revenge rather than money.  

Alex (Felix Williamson) A “take no prisoners” boorish corporate lawyer who has just become a full partner in a major law firm. His wife Vicki (Sepi Burgiani)  who is a social climber – well the heights she aspires to are more akin to climbing Everest. Their default mode is to rip shreds off each other. 

Stephen (Patrick Reed) a surgeon who is wound up so tight he looks like he’s always on the threshold of bustin’ a blood vessel. His wife Penny (Zoe Griffen) who makes quiches, sprinkled with sweetness and light as she tries to come to terms with her sexual frustrations. 

And finally Margaret (An absolute tour de force performance by Jo Hendrie). She’s reached a stage in her life where she can longer handle fools gladly, let alone the hypocrisy of her friends. If it wasn’t for her string of younger Swedish backpacker lovers she’d probably have gone mad by now. 

They all were great. A volatile mix of personalities that gets thoroughly knocked out of kilter by Peter. His Candide-like decision to start telling them the truth about their lifestyle choices has disastrous and hilarious results. Do they lend him the money? Does he keep the house? Well why don’t you book yourself a seat and find out. It’s well worth it. 

Seriously. A lot of theatre comes home to roost in this fun-filled train wreck of failed people.  Book. Watch. Enjoy