Sharp script promises laughs in Williamson’s hit

Colin and Kate get away with it. Photo: Helen Musa

WHEN it comes to portraying bad parenting on stage, no one does it quite like playwright David Williamson in “Emerald City.”

A new production of the 1987 play directed by Anne Somes premieres at the ACT Hub in Kingston this week, and Somes tells us to expect some very politically incorrect ideas.

Some of that was on stage at a media event on Wednesday morning June 8, as husband and wife – writer Colin and his editor wife Kate – haggled over how to tackle issues such as sexual preferences with their children, not to mention how to describe First Nations authors. This is worrying news.

Isaac Reilly, who plays Colin, said he has a monumental task because his fiercely articulate and opinionated character, who bears a strong resemblance to Williamson himself, is on stage most of the time.

As Kate, Victoria Dixon is something of a devil’s advocate as the couple navigate their way through society in the glittering and brash town of Emerald City (Sydney, that is) so different of the literate city of Melbourne to which they are accustomed.

‘Emerald City’ was a hit everywhere but London, where critics sniffed Kate’s description of the southern metropolis as ‘sophisticated’.

But with a sharp script, wall-to-wall laughs, and a nostalgic 1980s setting, it’s likely to be a hit for the young ACT Hub.

“Emerald City,” ACT Hub, 14 Spinifex Street Kingston, through June 25.

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Ian Meikle, editor

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