Pamela Rabe on women in the theatre, Jumpy and Jane
January 30, 2015
The mother of all midlife crises
Comedy icon Jane Turner (Kath & Kim) makes her STC debut alongside musical theatre favourite Marina Prior and Brenna Harding (Puberty Blues) in this hilarious West End hit – a deliciously irreverent comedy of frazzled hopes, questionable dreams and parental angst.
April De Angelis’ frank and funny family drama charts the perils of growing up and growing old with refreshing candour. At its core is a strong intelligent woman who once protested nuclear weapons, but who now finds herself largely protesting her teenage daughter’s choice of clothing.
Hitting 50 isn’t the end of the world for Hilary. Nor is the feeling that life has passed her by, that her marriage is slipping into habit, and that her career is going nowhere. It’s even bearable that her best friend Frances has turned to burlesque in an outrageous attempt to cling to youth! It’s actually her wayward 15-year-old daughter, Tilly, who is the icing on Hilary’s anxiety cake.
Director Pamela Rabe, no stranger to STC as both an actor (Les Liaisons Dangereuses) and a director, (In the Next Room, or the vibrator play) brings her deft touch to the play’s generous wit and pathos as this contemporary family struggles to navigate the perils of teenage rebellion and domestic life without falling apart.
During its premiere season in London in 2012, Jumpy was touted “the funniest new play the West End has seen in ages” (Telegraph UK). The Australian premiere season comes to the Sydney Opera House direct from a sold out Melbourne season. This heartfelt play has delighted Australian and UK critics and audiences alike.
‘Funny, deliciously rude and at times piercingly moving.’ Telegraph, UK
‘Jane Turner delights in a tale of middle-age anguish… her rare stage outing should tickle audiences pink.’ Sydney Morning Herald
‘Great performances and a well-observed script. Jumpy hilariously explores light and dark of parental and mid-life angst!’ Craig, via Twitter
‘Congratulations to cast and crew for Jumpy. Lots of genuine audience laughter and plenty to reflect on; Jane Turner as Hilary shines!’ Meredith, via Twitter
Duraton: 2hrs 15mins (including interval)
Warning: strong language and sexual themes
Sydney Theatre Company and Adshel present
A Melbourne Theatre Company production
Jumpy is on at MTC from January 31–March 14.