A Simple Act of Kindness at Red Stitch Theatre - 110 minutes, including a 20-minute interval
Sophia (Lou Wall) has been desperate to get into the property market for some time.
So it is that (yet again) she puts the hard word on her father – Tony (Joe Petruzzi) – trying to guilt him into going 50/50 with her on an apartment she has found.
He is far from impressed. It is small, without a view and out of the way.
Tony and his wife (Sophia’s mother) Julie (Sarah Sutherland) live in Stonnington and this place is in Laverton.
The pitch to Tony is going badly when Sophia drops a bombshell. She tells her dad that she is engaged to a man who is on the same page as her, Greg (Khisraw Jones-Shukoor).
Photos by Jodie Hutchinson
Collectively they have managed to get their hands on $125,000 and all they need now is to convince Tony to pitch in the other half.
Truth be told, Greg is not engaged to Sophia (they are just friends) and he is gay.
She only used him as a ruse to get her father to give over the funds.
What could possibly go wrong?
Tony hasn’t exactly made good investments in the past.
Unbeknown to him, he is about to lose his job.
He hasn’t told his wife how much he has dipped in to help their daughter.
His wife’s mother is further draining their resources.
And now Sophia and Greg’s new home has developed concrete cancer.
A Simple Act of Kindness is set during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is a slapstick comedy by Ross Mueller about the pitfalls of real estate … and family … and combining the two.
I liked the set up. There were a number of hilarious interchanges between the characters and the dialogue served to heighten the tension. It was fun.
But I felt let down by Act II, which appeared too obtuse for my liking.
To me it went from funny to quite bizarre and laboured. I tired of the second act, which felt stretched.
I thought Lou Wall was the pick of the talent. She milked the manipulation and reveled in the role of “parenting” her parents.
She bounced well off the other characters and was the “glue” that bound them together.
Directed by Peter Houghton, A Simple Act of Kindness has the makings of a consistently good comedy, but falters.
It is playing at Red Stitch Theatre until 18th December, 2022.