Adelaide Fringe 2015
Monty’s daughter is getting married and he still hasn’t written his speech! What do you say about a young lady you hardly know? Especially when you know very little about women in general? Surrounded by memories in the basement, he reflects on the women who have influenced him and taught him the things he knows.
This light-hearted performance takes the audience on a mixed medium journey to explain women. A little song, a little dance, a little film are used to create a good-natured comedy from a storyteller who appreciates the best in both men and women, even if he fails to grasp the nuances and complexities of the fairer species. His older sisters and mother prove to be an invaluable source of advice and information, while a variety of girlfriends and love interests teach Monty the hard way that women are not as straightforward and easy to please as he originally thought.
Monty uses a variety of props and backdrops to delve into anecdotes from the past, most of them with hilarious consequences. Contemporary music is used to punctuate Monty’s feelings and help set the scene. Nikki Langford, who does a wonderful job depicting the bumbling character, sings, dances, and even gets an audience member to help keep the rhythm to an upbeat number about an exotic South American girlfriend.
In keeping with the character, the script is a casual chronicle—Monty’s narrations are merely recollections of events and people, occasionally touching on his feelings and inner thoughts. There is little depth to the overall story and the performance ends with the audience hanging out for a more conclusive ending. The few stumbles in the script and direction were obvious but it was unclear if they were intentional as the audience found some of them comical. Some of the timing with the music and background was inconsistent but Langford’s performance saved those slip-ups.
Props and lighting are used effectively; the somewhat cluttered stage is a reflection of the disorder in Monty’s life, but every prop and element serves a purpose just as every woman who entered his life (however briefly) taught him something new. This performance was a feel-good piece of theatre and the audience—both male and female members—could relate to many aspects of Monty’s yarns.