Money and Friends

The Epicentre Theatre Company has made a nice job of David Williamson’s Money and Friends

Epicentre Theatre Company
Zenith Theatre, Sydney

Friday 26th February 2010 (Opening Night)

The Epicentre Theatre Company has made a nice job of David Williamson’s Money and Friends. Designer Richard Neville used a deck with stunning back drop photos of Crystal Inlet, a make believe sea side town on the South Coast of NSW. Looking at the boats in the harbour and the gum trees framing the water reminds us what a beautiful country we have and how lucky the rich are to have such holiday houses! Naturally there is a cost involved. Money, for all it can buy, can’t provide or keep friends.

Peter, (Andrew Moon) is a professor of pure mathematics and the confidante of most of his holiday ‘set’. These friends comprise the social milieu of the play. The somewhat acerbic Margaret, (Linda Young) is a history professor who was thrown over by her husband for a younger woman and now prefers the company of young men.  In a tete a tete, Peter finally tells her he is facing bankruptcy. Margaret urges him to let all his friends know and help him, but as he states “You can ask a friend for anything except money”. Margaret disagrees and urges Peter to reveal his problem and also to be more honest in his dealings with all his friends. She is not happy however, when he tells her she should stop having affairs with young men, particularly their friend’s son Justin (Calum Provan).

Peter’s new credo of honesty takes the self important television reporter Conrad (Martin Bell) and his wife Jaquie (Jennifer Corren) by surprise. Stephen (Tony Bates) a surgeon friend and his wife Penny (Amanada Adare) are also shocked at Peter’s forthrightness. The hotshot lawyer Alex (Alan Long) and his wife Vicki (Melanie Roberston) are stunned by Peter’s new honest approach but eventually come to realise (as do the others) that his candour has been useful and he is a ‘real’ friend. That is until Margaret spills the beans about Peter’s financial state and asks them to lend him money. Williamson’s social reflections make us examine what constitutes real friendship.

Lenore Roberston deftly directs a strong cast to bring the laughs forward and to emphasise the themes of social and financial pressures, including some references to the global financial crisis and environmental issues. Some of Williamson’s social construct is however out of kilter now. Although Margaret is a strong career woman many of the other wives often seem to be adjuncts to their successful husbands, lacking true voices.

Moon was a natural but strong Peter and Adare delighted as the flirting Penny, but all the cast did a good job in a well produced staging of Williamson’s play.

Season Closed

Anne-Marie Peard

Anne-Marie spent many years working with amazing artists at arts festivals all over Australia. She's been a freelance arts writer for the last 10 years and teaches journalism at Monash University.

Anne-Marie Peard

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