Review: Platform Festival

Featuring one act plays Age is just a Number 3R by Kellie Silver (directed by Rianna Hartney-Smith) and Strictly Amateur by Sherree Halliwell (directed by Kaela Gray). Plus various musical and dance acts. Javeenbah Theatre Company Little Theatre.

Runs until February 16.

Bookings : Tel 55960 300

The Javeenbah Theatre Company’s first outing for the 2019 season takes the form of a wide ranging community arts feast, Platform Festival, with two one-act plays at its hub.

In addition to Kellie Silver’s Age is Just a Number 3R and Strictly Amateur by Sherree Halliwell, the company is hosting a swag of talent featuring dance, music and the visual arts. The company has both its traditional indoor and newly set-up outdoor stage for the talent to work from and it makes for a pleasant roving evening.

The entertainment package begins with local singer-songwriters and musicians strutting their, often original, stuff on the outside while guests can seat and enjoy a drink from the J-Bah (it’s among the cheapest on the Gold Coast).

Then on opening night – the bill of fare does vary slightly over three weekends – everyone wandered into the theatre to catch the Helensvale Calisthenic Dance Academy and then poet Natalie Stephenson’s Mine to Endure performed alongside Javeenbah actor Naomi Thompson. The dance routine with a gymnastic flair was breathtaking while the two-person performance piece, about a loving relationship between sisters, was touching.

The first play, Age is Just a Number3R, by Kellie Silver (who has already had two other works staged at Javeenbah, Writer’s Block and Obsession), is a comedy drama about dating in midlife.

Kathy (Naomi Thompson) is a 44-year-old divorcee whose daughter Hayley (Francesca Spear) is horrified when she discovers that mum is dating young men through an on-line site. The action is this comedy-drama heats up when Kathy meets 30-something schoolteacher Andy (Adam Hellier) and the twosome take a real shine to each other. The set-up is made more complicated when ex-hubby Gary (Wayne Hickson) turns up on the scene on the pre-text that he wants to see more of his daughter Hayley. Adam Hellier and Naomi Thompson as the lovers are particular good in their roles bringing a lot of personality and even chemistry to the work.

Meanwhile, Strictly Amateur is a slightly absurdist off- the-wall comedy about a group of seven actor struggling to stage a revue inspired by Strictly Ballroom within 24-hours. The strong line-of character actors, who all bring something to the table, includes Gillian Crow, Megan Frener, Jake Goodall, Corinne Meunier, Faith Moore-Carter and Cassia Rosenstraus-Krojs.

Other musical talent on board for the festival including Keys and Chords (Francesca Spear and Tom Ruming), Summer Parkins, The Lion and the Tamer (Faith Moore-Carter and Jake Goodall), Lydia Stephenson, Helensvale Vocalescence Chorus, the Delightful Quartet and the Nerang High School Drumline Band.

There’s also a static display of visual art works from the Royal Queensland Art Society. The festival continue for two more weekends and two plays will feature in all program, while the music acts may be varied.

Review by Douglas Kennedy.

Naomi Thompson and Natalie Stephenson (poem reading)

Summer Parkins (Musician)

Lydia Stephenson (Musician)

Age is Just a Number 3R: Andy (Adam Hellier), Kathy (Naomi Thompson) and Hayley (Francesca Spear)

Age Is Just a Number: Kathy (Naomi Thompson, Gary (Wayne Hickson) and Harley (Francesca Spear)

Strickly Amateur: Coline (Damien Moran, Cynthia (Cassia Rosentraus-Krojs) and Jack (Jake Goodall).

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