Sense & Spontaneity | Jess Mess and Esther LonghurstHow felicitous to renew acquaintance with these most charming and accomplished of ladies. Indeed this is their fourth venture in the Perth Fringe. I, myself, have only been fortunate enough to enjoy one of their witty and pretty offerings prior to this delightful performance.

Let me immediately state that this whimsical concoction in no way disappointed! The audience was entranced and vociferous in their approval at every turn.

Gorgeously attired, they lured two audience members to join them on the chaise longue for a curious set of questions on best friendship. Happily this harmonious pair were, of all things, English teachers. What a remarkable synergy! Their answers were most intelligent and formed an elemental part of the following dialogue.

Verbally ricocheting off each other the actors used a frame work of written script, but then meandered to allow amusing diversions at every turn. The plot is pure Austen; best friends from financially distressed circumstances desire nothing more than to reach the dizzy heights of governess to a wealthy family.

One achieves this goal unhappily, the other is thwarted at every turn. She has to look at alternative options; starvation to death or marriage. Equally insupportable options.

I will no longer dwell on the plot. Suffice to say it has many remarkable twists and turns and involves the artful presence of many characters. Mess and Longhurst create them with marvellous aplomb. And a fabulous wardrobe of extravagant hats.

A highlight was the dance sequences at the wealthy Nedlands Ball and a burst into song by Mr Brown Hat, an insufferably vain, but ridiculously rich, gentleman suitor.

This performance was littered with clever literary references but there is no need to be an 1810 English literary aficionado to appreciate the humour. It is a brilliantly performed, delightfully silly soufflé.

Umbrella Works Inc presents
Sense & Spontaneity
Jess Mess and Esther Longhurst

Venue: Circus Theatre at Fringe Central | Perth Cultural Centre, Northbridge WA
Dates: 14 – 17 February 2019
Tickets: $25 – $15



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