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Review - Emerald City: fresh, tight and sparkling

Nadine Garner, Jason Klarwein and Rhys Muldoon

Emerald City

Directed By Sam Strong

Written By David Williamson

Queensland Theatre

QPAC Playhouse

South Bank


Season runs until February 29.Bookings or 136 246

2020 marks 50 years of Queensland Theatre and also 50 years of writing by the esteemed David Williamson. 50 years is a long time. It might even seem like a veritable age upon looking back. However, it can also disappear within the blink of an eye.

When you combine both theatre and playwright it often, simply, makes magic. This time it was magic in the form of Emerald City, which opened last night to a full house at QPAC’s Playhouse theatre.

This particular dramady has been touted as Williamson’s ‘finest comedy’ and has been given a fresh look by Queensland’s premier theatre company. Queensland Theatre never seems to disappoint with fresh, tight and sparkling productions year after year. For five decades, in fact. The casting for Emerald City was on point.

Jason Klarwein, (Colin) Nadine Garner, (Kate) Rhys Muldoon, (Mike) and Megan Hind (Helen) all clashed delightfully in their tête-à-tête moments vying for power, money and fame. Ray Chong Nee (Malcolm) and Marg Downey (Elaine) were wonderfully cruel supporting characters that made some of the scenes with their witty repartees.

Each and every scene seemed like a private look into the lives of a pastiche of someone real. That’s the mark of good theatre, to make the characters grow on you and seem so real. The story began wonderfully abruptly with Nadine Garner’s sharp and swift entrance that ended audience conversations mid-word.

However not all was glisteningly green in the land of Oz. Williamson’s touch of verve did seem to waver in the second act with the play and writing ending a bit flat but that did not detract from the production as a whole. It was a fitting tribute to a man who has devoted the majority of his life to art and the art of writing.

It was a special treat for the audience to have the man himself come up on stage for a few words during the actors’ final bows and David Williamson did not disappoint with a sweet dedication to his wife. What the audience took away from the evening was not just a good play to remember but also the memory of a man’s lasting legacy. Let’s hope for more to come.

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