“Sexy Laundry” by Michele Riml
Waipukurau Little Theatre, Ruataniwha St, Waipukurau
17 May 2018.
Reviewed by Edward Carleton-Holmes
Waipukurau's Little Theatre's latest production, Sexy Laundry by Canadian playwright Michele Riml, is set in an expensive hotel room where a married couple are trying to reignite their marriage. Alice (Julie Hales) thinks the spark has gone and has dragged husband Henry (Steve Parker) along for a weekend of sexy shenanigans to, hopefully, jazz things up between them. She has a book, she's taken notes and she has plans. Henry has none of those things and quite frankly doesn't see the point. Needless to say Alice's plans fall somewhat flat.
Riml takes a light-hearted and often very insightful look at the problems and frustrations of mid-life and long marriage (25 years and counting in this case), and this production delivers those insights very well.
Julie Hales delivers her Alice with near boundless energy, enthusiasm and a strong sense for her character's emotional highs and lows, all of which bounced around, over, off and sometimes through the more emotionally solid character of husband Henry.
Steve Parker, in the first act, struggled a little with his lines and delivery at times, mostly due to nerves and a little to lack of recent experience, but his character was always sound, and he provided an excellent foil to Julie's Alice. By the second act his nerves had settled, and his emotive delivery of character was easily up to the challenge. Both actors were obviously comfortable with each other and their characters, making it very easy to believe they had been married to each other for 25 years.
Lindsay Bishop has delivered a free-flowing, quick-fire production of Riml's play, allowing the characters to shine as they struggle to save a marriage whilst learning some things about themselves, with a great deal of laughs, and some very thought-provoking moments, making for a delightfully entertaining show that is over all too soon.