Funny: Micah Jimenez and Owain Johnston in A Little Bit of Heaven. *Photo by Sarah Lagan
Funny: Micah Jimenez and Owain Johnston in A Little Bit of Heaven. *Photo by Sarah Lagan

FRIDAY, FEB. 10: For full synopses of the Famous For Fifteen plays click HERE.

This year’s Famous for Fifteen playwrights’ competition brought with it a varied cast, wide ranging subject matter and plenty of laugh out loud moments.

While the set was scrimped on — the bare bones essentials for the most part — the scripts were bursting with life and emotion. 

Sexuality played a strong part in the evening’s affairs as well as word play and male banter.

The final play of the night, From the Horses Mouth, seemed to get the most laughs and it was clear that a lot of thought had gone into the razor sharp script by George Morton.

Camp Marcus is obsessed with buttons and has lost one from his jacket. He searches the whole pub for it on all fours and his behind in the air much to the annoyance of his masculine friend Roger.

Great lines

There are some great lines — at one point Marcus explains to his unlikely friend that he got the button from Tajikistan, a country Roger is sure he has made up. He says it was smuggled over the border up a camel’s backside.

After a while Roger gets so irate with Marcus he shouts out: “Get out from under the table now Marcus, before I rip off all of your buttons and give you a taste of what that f***ing camel had to deal with!”

The play got even stronger when James Bennett as Elliot made his spectacular entrance.

His delivery packed a punch, his comical timing was to the second and, thanks to Morton, his dialogue was outstanding.

Spattered with bad language, his choice of words were, you could say, unique.

For instance he calls a Dane a f***ing pastry muncher” and a walrus in a zoo a “fat toothy b**ch”.

Marcus is another strong character and his plan to get experimental with a bar stool had us all in stitches. I’d love to see more from Morton but be warned — this material is not for the meek.

Another laugh-out-loud comedy was One Size Fits All by Deborah Pharoah-Williams about a happy couple approaching their 40th wedding anniversary.

It began with some sweet marital banter between the characters played by Kelvin Hastings-Smith (Hubert) and Heather Stafford (Myrtle) and progresses to the spouses’ separate dialogues with shop owners about what gifts to buy the other.

It was the contrast between the thoughts of a man and the thoughts of a woman that gave this play its strength — it offered an intimate insight into how differently our brains are wired.

While the play proved that we are never too old to add a little spice to our lives, we got to see a little more of Hastings-Smith’s flesh than we had bargained for!

The use of lighting was effective in this show and the props a little more exciting than the other performances.

Kevin Comeau’s A Little Bit Of Heaven was great fun and perfectly cast. Owain Johnston (Henry) did the hapless, desperate bachelor so well and there were panto-like moments when the young ladies in the crowd “ooohed and aahhhed” in sympathy for him.

Micah Jimenez gave one of the most cool and natural performances of the evening as Gordon who mocked his friend for being so all-round miserable and for his useless wooing tactics that border on sexual harassment. 

Local humour

This was one of the only plays this year with some local humour. During one conversation, Gordon talks about firemen getting to “do to girls what Bermuda’s politicians do to the rest of us on a daily basis” while making a thrusting motion with his groin. It’s wasn’t particularly original humour but it was refreshing to hear something local, a trait judge Tom Coash says he looks out for.

Bermuda’s intolerant attitude towards homosexuals was also tackled subtly.

Two of the plays — The Appointment by Mark Lavery, and A Thousand Words by Owain Johnston were more serious dealing with pain and loss.

The Appointment was a good old-fashioned tale with a twist. John Dale as the doctor was wholly believable and his performance incredibly moving. The play dealt maturely with the issue of anxiety and dug up all the old skeletons that are so often lurking in the cupboards of warring families.

A Thousand Words by Owain Johnston dealt with the loss of loved ones and how we deal with it.

The play started off on a funny note with Kelvin Hastings-Smith as a grumpy old man with a practically unpronounceable last name.

This was another play that switched course towards the end which led the way for depth of character.

Standing completely out on its own was Adam Gauntlett’s Still Life With Book which had its own unique charm.

It was a simple vignette of a man trying to read his book but is taunted by a multitude of distractions. These distractions, whether a dripping tap or a loving cat, are all in the form of a beautiful young lady merely titled “the other”.

Barely a word was spoken in this sweet little play but the audience was taken through a multitude of emotions. The Reader Pete Havlicek’ and The Other, Mia Pawels complemented each other well on stage.

Performance dates:
February 10 to 18 at 8pm at Daylesford Theatre. Tickets are $25, except for the Gala and Prize Giving Night on February 18 — tickets $75.  (There will be no performance February 12). Box office can be contacted on 292-0848