THEATRE REVIEW: AFTER DINNER, DUNSTAN PLAYHOUSE, 2018

In an hilarious flashback to the 1980s, State Theatre Company present Andrew Bovell’s After Dinner.

Directed by Corey McMahon and featuring the esteemed talents of Elena Carapetis (Monika), Jude Henshall (Dympie), Nathan Page (Stephen), Ellen Steele (Paula) and Rory Walker (Gordon), the play follows veteran single gals Paula and Dympie as they take their newly widowed friend Monika to dinner and a show where they meet freshly divorced Gordon and man about town Stephen.

Control freak, creature of habit, Dympie likes to sit at the table throughout their Friday nights out, while Paula longs to dance. With the break in routine of Monika joining the pair, tonight, after dinner might just be her chance.

Gordon is a non-drinker who is in desperate need of a night out after his wife left him, at least that’s what Stephen thinks. The two opposites find common ground throughout the night, which is healing for them both.

If you can ignore the very un-PC jokes (some of which have not very aged well) and embrace the melodrama and physical humour, you’ll have a fantastic time.

The set is a wonderful throwback to RSLs and similar ‘clubs’ of the 1980s and the music is perfectly suited to each scene. The costumes, particularly Stephen’s and Paula’s are like pages out of magazines of the day.

Elena Carapetis is absolutely delightful as Monika and is a real standout, providing some of the most hilarious moments of the show.

Jude Henshall is stunning as Dympie who you love to hate and hate to love, playing beautifully off Ellen Steele who is fabulously funny as Paula.

The two fellas are thoroughly enjoyable to watch satirising the ‘boys don’t cry’ attitudes of the eighties and complementing the women’s performances well.

Corey McMahon has directed an hilarious production of After Dinner, which is well worth seeing if you’re looking for a light-hearted show that is all entertainment and a great night out.

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