State Theatre Review: Ripcord

What: State Theatre Company South Australia’s latest production, Ripcord

Who: Written by David Lindsay-Abaire, Directed by Mitchell Butel

When: Running until December 13th, buy tickets here

Where: Dunstan Playhouse

L to R: Ezra Juanta as the Zombie Butler, Nancye Hayes as Abby and Carmel Johnson as Marilyn

Ripcord is heart-warming and cheerful, a ‘senile romp’ (in the words of Milly Farmer) bringing some laughter to the Dunstan Playhouse after what’s been a rough year for the theatre industry. Taking place in a shared bedroom within Bristol Place Senior Living Facility, the play follows the relationship of two residents, Abby and Marilyn. It appears these two ladies couldn’t be more different, and they develop a rivalry that leads to a fiercely competitive bet. This bet drives the plot and hilarity of Ripcord. A beautiful friendship forms as the antics that play out as part of the bet reveal each woman’s particular strengths and vulnerabilities.

Nancye Hayes and Carmel Johnson deliver dynamic performances, playing Abby and Marilyn with gentleness and wholesome fun. The supporting cast also deliver entertaining and colourful performances – I particularly enjoyed Nathan Page as the sons, the sincerity and comedy infused in his various roles. Use of the set, curtains and stage – particularly during transitions – were also notably creative and amusing, a feature that seems to have become a hallmark of State Theatre productions. As a lover of detail and ‘Easter eggs’ I enjoyed this very much.

Ripcord has experienced a delayed start and unreliable production conditions due to the various Covid-19 restrictions Adelaide has experienced over the past few weeks. If you’re interested in a light-hearted, feel-good story about acceptance, the complexity of aging and the importance of grace, go support the show and our State Theatre Company, it’s a sweet night out.

3.5 out of 5 stars

Katerina Grypma

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