From the off, it’s hard not to like Lawrence Mooney, and one can’t deny he writes damn good material. The evidence is there for all to see.
During his latest show, presented at the Dunstan Playhouse on Saturday after a season earlier this year at Adelaide Fringe, he compels his audience to consider the ambiguities of love, death and sex, as well as the violence which categorises modern life.
With sharp comic timing and an acute sense of the absurdities – and perhaps meaninglessness – of life and the human condition, Mooney shares the story of how he had to fly to the United Kingdom to bury his Uncle Harry.
It seems most of his life has been self-congratulatory, yet with the death of his relative he begins to think about his own mortality, familial eccentricities, politics, ageing, childbirth and how difficult it is to raise teenage daughters.
His ability to engage with an audience through his robust imagination and gallows humour is spectacular. Throughout Surely Not, he uses mimicry, postures and poses, and accents to great effect.
The overall production has steadfast pacing. Its storyline consists of tiny events and wildly monumental ones, with the demise of Harry connecting them. From a tiny premise, the story progresses, then builds into an uproarious crescendo.
All in all, Surely Not is a solid, comical and brilliantly performed piece.
Lawrence Mooney performed Surely Not for one night only in Adelaide as part of a national tour which now takes him to Melbourne and then Sydney.
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