Sorry to Cut You Off, Penny is sort of an antidote to the David Williamson classic Don’s Party. Created and performed by Alana McGaughey, Meg O’Hara, Phoebe Turnbull and Daynah Simmons, the play was presented by Tantrum Youth Arts, with Pact Theatre.  According to the Trajectory Ensemble Facilitator David Williams, as opposed to the booziness and boorishness that accompanied Don’s Party, there is a quiet attentiveness to ‘an unfolding moment in which things things might have been reset’. 

A little too quiet in parts. After a promising start, energy lags less than halfway through, one of the girls flakes out on the sofa and appears to be asleep – while two others sit at the kitchen table.  

Two dance sequences-  apropos of nothing – do little to provide much needed energy to the proceedings, and long discussions about the merits of vegan food were not as funny as they could have been. Chicken twisties? No, not vegan apparently.

 Familiar tropes are re-packaged with varying degrees of success – and a little confusion, Julia Gillard’s misogyny speech blares over the proceedings in an inventive mash-up, but the moment goes on far too long. 

The ideas presented needed much more drama for this exploration of feminism and politics. Despite cute and tremendously earnest performances, the promise of the political becoming personal just didn’t have enough of an edge to it in this production. 

Sorry to Cut You Off, Penny was at the Pact Theatre 4-7 September.

Featuring: Alana McGaughey, Meg O’Hara, Phoebe Turnbull and Daynah Simmons.

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ArtsLab is Shopfront’s annual emerging artist program which provides 6-month residency space, an industry mentor and season to showcase new works. In 2019 we supported 6 emerging artists to create 5 new works. The season includes 3 theatre works, an installation and a video artwork.