Almost Nearly Paradise
by Brenda Gottsche

Cast & Crew
Roz Riley - Director.

Pamela Rome, Sally Williams, Deb Neilson, Kath Perry, Neil Modra, Matthew Grego.

Chantal Roberts - SM,
Lindsay Walton - sound,
Jon Tidswell - lighting.

4th to 13th November 2015

Review from weekend Notes./www.weekendnotes.com/almost-nearly-paradise-theatre-review/
It's not almost, it is definitely paradise"

It's almost well, nearly paradise. "Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the bookclub"!
A bookclub meets on a beautiful island in the Pittwater. The alcohol flows, and the night becomes a goldmine of dangerous revelations. Then Australia's 48th richest man rolls up and everyone's true nature emerges from the water like a circling shark!" ( Source: production press)
Staged in the beautiful old Exchange Hotel, this production is set in a cosy back bar, with seating for 40. The Factory Space Theatre Company creates an experience for the audience that is entertaining and engaging with never a dull moment. This entrancing tale spun beautifully by Glenda Gottsche and directed by Ros Riley, is the third of the company's productions for 2015.
A group of Pittwater women, each their own unique person, take the plunge and join the local book club. There are books, boats, mobiles, wine and money. You feel there. The naturalness of the characters brings the location cleverly to life. It's a great taste of what this theatre company can produce.
This style of local pub, or festival stage theatre presents works that are well worth viewing and much better than a night at home watching the telly.
Make the effort and get out and partake in the local theatre scene."
Weekend Notes

Almost Nearly Paradise Review by Wendy Lewis (theatreBLOG)

Thursday 5th November. General admission
A dark and stormy night on an island in Pittwater. Lots of wine. A luxury yacht that smashes into a private jetty. And a book club that doesn’t stick to the agenda. Well, there’s juicier stuff to talk about than a book by some man called George Eliot!
Brenda Gottsche’s light-hearted look at moral dilemmas plays around with questions of trust, greed and happiness. What is it? How do you get it? How do you keep it? It showcases four very different women. Pamela Rome makes the brassy Jenny a truly dominant force of nature. She has the biggest emotional journey of the evening as she gradually realises just how deeply unhappy she is. Tiff (played with butter-wouldn’t-melt-in-your-mouth innocence by Debbie Neilson) is genuinely content with her life (and genuinely in awe of Bunnings!). Ellie, the barrister, played with cool reserve by Sally Williams, is embarking on a relationship that may or may not be in her best interests and, of course, barristers do not like anything not in their own interests. And Anne, the wise and warm Kath Perry, quietly yearns for a man she thinks she knows better than his own wife, as well as recording the whole evening’s proceedings on the sly for ‘research’ purposes!
As for the men in the equation, Neil Modra as Sammy clearly loves mischief while Matthew Grego is suitably shark-like as the ‘48th richest man in Australia’.
The action works well in the intimate performance space of the Exhibition Hotel. The elongated room sets up a strong dynamic: women at one end, men at the other, and the audience in the middle, wondering whose ‘side’ they are on.

Review in SydneyTheatreArts.
The play has many unexpected twists and turns, with wicked and entertaining dialogue, and features some delicious one-liners. My favourite line of dialogue was “He is unattached to the truth”.

This was a fun night in the theatre with a well chosen cast who each gave believable performances. The show was well directed by Roz Riley.
The people from Lovett Bay really enjoyed the play. On the staging, they commented on how well they thought the phone call arrangement worked, loved the cast especially Pamela as Jenny, commented on how good Kath was though she had the lesser role, using her facial expressions to convey her inner workings ... Loved the way the stage was set...John Bryson liked the tension set up with it all happening in one time frame...so very good night!
Almost Nearly Paradise   photographed by John Reeves