State Theatre Production Ripcord
South Australia’s popular State Theatre Company have returned to the Dunstan Playhouse at Adelaide Festival Theatre to bring Pulitzer Prize-winner David Lindsay-Abaire’s screenplay Ripcord to life. Directed by Artistic Director Mitchell Butel, Ripcord is a story of nursing home mischief, family and forgiveness. Filled with wickedly hilarious stints, witty remarks and unique set design Ripcord is the end of 2020 theatre comedy that you absolutely need to see.
Hayes and Johnson excel as polar opposite main characters Abby and Marilyn. Abby is bitter, introverted and loves nothing more to be alone with a book. Marilyn is a bubbly vivacious woman who loves chit chat, fun and placing competitive bets with Abby. What begins as a relatively innocent bet with a high prize becomes a highly competitive rivalry between two wildly stubborn old ladies.
Ripcord’s supporting cast do a fantastic job at complementing the flow, setting up the scene and shine within their character moments. Performers Nathan Page, Ezra Juanta and Jennifer Innes do a fantastic job at juggling multiple characters throughout the story and Chris Asimos is a playful delight as the Nursing Home attendant.
Set designer Alisa Paterson does a marvellous job with her Ripcord set creation. A rotating roundabout is sectioned off into permanent sets and interchangeable design serving not only practicality but an eye-catching experience for the audience.
Despite its outrageously sharp humour, Ripcord also manages to hit the nail on the head with just the right handful of mature themes. It is an absolute pleasure to watch characters Abby and Marilyn’s companionship as their differences and pasts flip from being something driving them apart to something that brings them together.
An otherwise expertly crafted screenplay, my only criticism, which could be disputed by other viewers was with the plays ending. Although ending with a brilliant twist and with a warm-hearted finish, I felt as if there were a couple of elements of the script that could have improved with a more visual representation.
Theatre in 2020 has been very short and few so it was enormously refreshing to be back supporting local performers. Ripcord was a wondrously hilarious and touching story performed by two brilliant leads and a splendid supporting cast. Catch a matinee or night show of The State Theatre Company’s Ripcord at the Festival Theatre from December 1st through to the 13th. And rest assured, the Festival Theatre are excellently precautious with their COVID-19 safety.
Written by Hayley Sutter