I’m always quite anxious waiting for a two hander play to start. With only two actors telling the entire story, I worry that there will be a lack of chemistry, craftsmanship or charm. However, within the first few minutes of Six Dance Lessons In Six Weeks my anxiety was firmly knocked to the ground and I was at ease.
The play starts with Lily, a woman in her elderly years waiting to meet her dance instructor who she will see for the next six weeks. Enter Michael, a boisterous, young dancer who has moved home to Florida from New York. To say both characters get off on the wrong foot would definitely be an understatement.
Joanne-fae Waldon in the role of Lily was wonderful. She played the character with poise and strength. Waldon’s portrayal had warmth and humour, she took every opportunity in the text and made it something extraordinary. Her counterpart, Michael, portrayed by Andrew Cockroft-Penman played a very layered, thoughtful and at times, explosive character. Their chemistry was undeniable and the development of the relationship between these characters as the play continued on was truly magnificent to watch.
With a play such as this, the transitions could have been quite lacklustre, however, Gillian Crow as the housekeeper made the audience giggle and turned what could have been monotonous scene changes into an entire hilarious performance of its own.
Direction by Gaye Gay was undeniably professional and seamless. It was clear that through her design of the shows movement was thought out. The blocking presented by the characters was natural yet impactful, and always hit at exactly the right moments.
The set design by Craig Smith was extremely well thought out and added the extra layer of finesse to the performance by framing both Waldon and Cockroft-Penman in a great, detailed set.
The lighting design by Colin Crow hit all of the right moods at the right times. The lighting did it’s job of adding to the scenes superbly.
Six Dance Lessons In Six Weeks is a surprisingly uplifting play about loss, family, friendship and moving on. I couldn’t help the smile on my
face in the final scene of this remarkable text. Do yourself a favour and see this play before it salsa’s off the stage.
Six Dance Lessons In Six Weeks by Richard Alfieri is playing at Javeenbah Theatre Company through to September 22. To book tickets head to javeenbah.org.au