Daylight Saving

DTC_Daylight Saving_reviewWritten in 1989 by Nick Enright, Daylight Saving is a delightful, well-constructed farce, which retains its freshness and humour in this excellent production by the Darlinghurst Theatre Company.

Director, Adam Cook, has assembled a cracker of a cast who leave no nuance unexplored to do justice to Nick Enright’s clever script. Hugh O’Connor has designed a sunny, cheerful 1980’s setting, beautifully lit by Gavan Swift which he’s complimented with sophisticated and witty costumes which slyly celebrate the period.

Felicity (Rachel Gordon) seemingly has it all. She runs a successful restaurant, her husband Tom (Christopher Stollery) manages the country’s hottest tennis player, Jason Strutt, (Jacob Warner) and together they live in a gorgeous North Shore apartment with stunning views.

It’s the last day of daylight saving, Tom is overseas with his tennis player, and has forgotten their wedding anniversary. So Felicity is preparing to have a seemingly innocuous dinner with an old flame visiting from America (Ian Stenlake). But when earlier in the day she fluffs the answer to a cheeky television interviewer’s question about fidelity, we get the impression that Felicity has a little more than dinner in mind for that evening.

However, constant interruptions from her well-meaning, but interfering mother, (Belinda Giblin) and her outrageously self-centred next-door neighbour (Helen Dallimore), together with the unexpected return of husband, Tom, provide the perfect set-up for a series of deliciously funny misunderstandings which put paid to any amorous plans Felicity and her dinner-guest may have been hatching.

The pacing is slick and secure. The dialogue is liberally scattered with witty one-liners, all perfectly delivered. All the performances are satisfying. Rachel Gordon is outstanding as Felicity, the successful career woman questioning her sense of dissatisfaction with her successful marriage to Tom, (well played by Christopher Stollery), who’s too pre-occupied with his own successful career to notice.

Ian Stenlake is impressive as Felicity’s handsome, likeable, opportunistic old flame, always circling for the kill. Belinda Giblin is pure class as Felicity’s twitty, widowed mother, Bunty, and Jacob Warner is terrific as the petulant tennis star Jason Strutt. Helen Dallimore is quite marvellous as the steam-rolling next door neighbour, Stephanie.

According to Adam Cook’s program notes Daylight Saving is “about loneliness in marriage, and about living in the present but longing for the past”. Perhaps it’s the presence of this deeper intent that causes this delightful play to linger in the memory long after one has left the theatre.

Director: Adam Cook  Cast: Helen Dallimore, Belinda Giblin, Rachel Gordon, Ian Stenlake, Christopher Stollery, Jacob Warner  Production Designer: Hugh O’Connor  Lighting Designer: Gavan Swift  Sound Designer: Nate Edmondson

Daylight Saving
Eternity Playhouse, 39 Burton Street, Darlinghurst
Season continues to 30 November 2014
Bookings: (02) 8356 9987 or online at: www.darlinghursttheatre.com

For more information, visit: www.darlinghursttheatre.com for details.

Image: Rachel Gordon and Ian Stenlake in Daylight Saving – photo by Helen White

Review: Bill Stephens

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