STARS: David Austin and Catherine Taylor in The Sum of Us.
STARS: David Austin and Catherine Taylor in The Sum of Us.

'Lots of good belly laughs': Aussie humour shines through

THE play The Sum of Us was released as a movie in 1994.

In the box office, it was number one throughout Australia and starred Jack Thompson and Russell Crowe in the lead roles of Harry and Jeff respectively.

A cheery ode to diversity, tolerance and family ties, The Sum of Us is based on a play, written by Australian screenwriter David Stevens.

Ipswich Little Theatre's production is directed by Doug Moses and Chris Austin-Greenhill, with David Austin playing the role of Harry and Simon Drew as Jeff.

There are lots of good belly laughs in this production as well as some sentimental moments, as comedy turns to tragedy in their lives.

The writing of Stevens remains true to the joys of Australiana language, which adds a truthfulness to the play.

Austin is well known in ILT's circle of theatre.

Whilst he hasn't appeared on stage for some time, he still holds a good stage presence.

His portrayal of the character of Harry is very believable and engaging.

For the past few years writing and directing has kept him busy.

And as he comments this is easier than learning lines.

Austin's most recent writing and directing was The Force and I, a successful theatre restaurant performed at ILT.

His other directing accomplishments include, The Mikado, Jesus Christ Superstar, Cats and several of the Nunsense series.

His last acting role was in A Few Good Men. He is also president of Ipswich Little Theatre.

Simon Drew is no virgin of the stage either although this role of Jeff is only his second time on the ILT stage.

His previous appearance for ILT was as a back ground singer in the performance of Sex, Drugs and Rick n' Noel.

Drew is well known in the Ipswich theatre scene especially for his work with Ipswich Musical Theatre Company.

He played the lead role of Bert in their production of Mary Poppins, a very successful production for the Ipswich Musical Theatre Company.

The two support characters played by Mal Farrow (Greg) and Catherine Taylor (Joyce) provided legitimacy to the story, each giving excellent performances.

This was only the second time on stage with ILT for Farrow and he gave a very convincing portrayal of his character.

The part took him out of his comfort zone but he succeeded in bringing this shy, loveable and somewhat naïve character to life.

Taylor's performance, whilst only short in the scheme of the total production, demonstrated her dedication and skill as an actor.

Taylor is no novice to the stage and has been involved in theatre since the age of five.

She is studying for a post-graduate major in drama at the University of Queensland and is pleased to once again work with other talented people.

Directors Moses and Austin-Greenhill must be very proud of what they have created in this performance.

They have ensured the production maintained the true Aussie values, language and humour.

They put extreme importance on detail, an important feature for any performance at ILT, as its audience is practically on stage with the actors.

It is a very intimate theatre and that is its appeal.

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