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Review - Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks: Powerful two-hander

Right: Joanne-fae Worland as Lily and Andrew Cockroft-Penman as Michael.

Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks

By Richard Alfieri

Directed by Gaye Gay

Javeenbah Theatre Company.

Cnr Stevens & Ferry Streets,



Season runs until September 22. Bookings:

Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks is a beautiful love story with more bonding than romance as a young gay guy in Florida’s retirement paradise connects with an aging conservative.

It looks like stuck-in-the-mire Lily (Joanne-fae Worland) has nothing in common with her young radical dance teacher Michael (Andrew Cockroft-Penman) when they first meet.

There’s a huge bust up on the first meet. He’s rude and she resentful.

In fact Michael – who is awash with gay angst –keeps almost storming out on her throughout the play.

However, despite their differences – Michael’s a gay from New York City who might-have-been a big time dancer and Lily is the wife of a Baptist Minister with secrets – they slowly reveal themselves.

Their stories create a bonding and to be honest it is stronger without the romance factor. Both of them have powerful stories, which eventually they share with each other and the audience.

The result is a narrative – coupled with some great dancing – that I guess will have the good-hearted close to tears before curtain down.

It’s this unveiling of stories without the complications of romance that makes this two-hander so powerful.

Joanne and Andrew’s performances were as appealing as was the performance from the anonymous stage hand who added a little zest between scenes.

This is a celebration of love without the complication of love if you get my drift. It is a lovely two-hander featuring Joanne-fae Worland and Andrew Cockroft-Penman with nice understating from director Gaye Gay.

There was also a terrific set designed by Craig Smith and tireless technician Colin Crow deserves a credit. The scenic, technical and design team – too many to mention – are among the Javeenbah’s greatest assets and the front of house mob also.

I once called – when Javeenbah had a terrible fire - a plucky little theatre thinking about the people who put on the shows, but now I would like to honor the technical crew who often get forgotten.

Well done Colin and Co. see you all soon.

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