Trolley Boys

 Trolley Boys, a new Australian play directed by Michael Dahlstrom, brought a few small laughs and smiles from the audience.

 The Old Fitzroy TheatreWild Oat Productions in association with Tamarama Rock Surfers
Tuesday, 12 January, 2009
Trolley BoysTrolley Boys, a new Australian play directed by Michael Dahlstrom, brought a few small laughs and smiles from the audience. The play follows two trolley boys from Devons Supermarket, who challenge two trolley boys from Colds Supermarket to a race to the trolley graveyard where the abundant collection of trolleys that resides there has the ability to save their soon to be in danger jobs. Nevik, the security guard sends them on the way with mysterious advice to find the homeless lady who has magical powers. Along the way they discover a stoner from the dangerous Bike Scrub gang and the one-time king of the Zombies. After facing numerous perils they battle some kind of beast, the true identity of the homeless lady is revealed and a trolley boy discovers that there is more to life than collecting trolleys. The world premier of Alex Cullen’s script seems to have come too soon.  The characters were two dimensional giving the actors nothing more than a name and occupation to work with. The plot was nonsensical and too far-fetched to appeal to an adult audience. The majority of the play was stagnant and far from adventurous as the characters stood in the supermarket car park and discussed the ‘trolley graveyard’.   After the initial overload of exposition, the ending was rushed and poorly explained with loose ends such as the other two Colds trolley boys never tied up. In an attempt to draw upon nostalgia, the play was packed with references and music from the 80’s until the present. Unfortunately mentioning ‘Power Rangers ’ or ‘Swine Flu’ is not in itself funny and the result was messy, without a reflection on any real time period. The attempts to draw parallels between the plot and the Wizard of Oz were half baked and seemed to serve more to help structure the play than to make any kind of comment on the action or characters.
The acting was exaggerated and inappropriate to the tiny theatre. Many of the actors presented us with uncontrolled energy and shallow, poorly devised characters. Much of the action was reminiscent of a children’s pantomime, with characters falling over each other and several moments of exaggerated physicality. Almost all of the performers were guilty of shouting their linesand any scene that involved more than two characters became deafening as everyone struggled to be heard over each other and the 80’s/90’s  soundtrack. As a result the show was frequently unpleasant to listen to and dialogue was lost in moments of conflict, action or confrontation.
Hopefully as the run continues the actors will learn to control the fast paced moments in the script, find truth in their characters and listen to each other. Bookings on 1300 438 849 or visit
Until February 6 2009

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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