It’s been a while since I can remember laughing out loud at a production, but that is what I found myself doing at last night’s performance of Unpack This!
Written by Geoff Paine (the nice guy in neighbours) Unpack This! is based on his experiences whilst attending an anger management workshop after head butting his neighbour in 2008. The show explores what happens when two social workers try to show six men how to manage their anger.
As you enter the theatre you are welcomed by Trevor/ Trev (played by Syd Brisbane) to the anger management workshop and assured “it won’t be too confronting”. With Rocky music and movements Trev takes charge of proceedings and settles to introduce the program for the day. Some of Trev’s most comedic moments come from his use of the whiteboard on stage, as h draws up diagrams to help explain to his participants how to unpack their anger.
The six men in the class are played by Ross Daniels and Geoff Paine as they skillfully and seamlessly inhabit their characters with the change of a hat, accent or the addition of glasses. Ross takes on the characters of Nicholas, Geoff and Nuyen. Although one of the least inhabited characters, it is Paine’s portrayal of the stereotyped, politically incorrect Nuyen, that leaves the audience in fits of laughter. Daniel’s assumes the role of Reginald, Brain, and Bogdan. His portrayal of Reginald (a seventy one year old man who just can’t understand what he is doing there) is full of compassion as the audience begins to wonder the same thing. His comedic talents are saved for the hoodie wearing Bogdan, whose there because he bashed a guy who wanted to shake his hand, and he knows he wanted to do more than that.
As the presenter, Trev begins to loose control of his anger, due to his assistant and love interest, Lorraine (played by Michelle Nussey) rekindling her relationship with her ex, is left to her to assume the calming influence amongst the testosterone.
This is a comedy that will have you laughing out loud and glad you took the time to Unpack This!
ps. Geoff Paine has since moved house!
Now playing until 15 September.
Subiaco Arts Centre
180 Hamersley Road Subiaco