Having seen Damian Callinan several times before in widely varying roles I was keen to see this latest show, and as always, he did not disappoint.
This show is based upon the discovery of his mother's diary penned in her single days. What a busy life she lead, juggling suitors, amongst them Callinan's father, with social engagements galore.
The recovery of the diary gave Callinan ample grounds for characterization in a variety of roles. During the performance Callinan darts back and forth between the two texts and timelines contrasting their courting days and retirement years. A consumate performer, he switched roles with lightening speed. Firstly his mother, as a young girl, thence to the hopeful swains with whom she socialized and finally to his father.
The diary is both a love story and a time capsule of life as Australians tried to adjust after the trials of World War 2. Callinan uses the medium of a proposed film to narrate their story. There are slides depicting the many films young Kathleen and her various swains attended. Also romantic, sepia toned footage of the dances attended. Themes of love and loss are intimately rendered.
Using voice overs and reading aloud Callinan weaves a lovely contrast with exerpts from his father's retirement diary together with the charming musings of a 19 year old social butterfly. Eventally the recently returned RAAF flyboy wins the hand of the lovely Kathleen.
This is, as with Callinan's other solo shows, very well written and hilarious in it's contrasts. As usual, an extremely satisfying production, written and performed with charm and real affection.
An enjoyable romantic romp with touches of true poignancy.
Perth Fringe World 2023
Venue: State Theatre Centre of WA
Dates: 27 Jan – 5 February 2023
Tickets: $35 – $26