top of page

Review: The Wharf Revue: UNR-DACT-D at Riverside Theatre

By Adam Stepfner

The Wharf Revue: UNR-DACT-D written and created by Jonathan Biggins, Drew Forsythe and Phillip Scott, continues it's 20 year tradition, giving audiences a variety of sketch comedy scenes, paired with musical numbers and video projection, sharing commentary on the political scene within Australia, and the world, in 2019. The play performed by Simon Burke, Lena Cruz, Helen Dallimore, Drew Forsythe and Andrew Worboys, takes us through a comical and hilarious depiction of the world we live in, through a somewhat new and interesting lens.

The actors soar, as each performer plays a variety of characters, each with such conviction. Whether it be Pauline Hanson, Ita Buttrose, Bob Hawke even Kim Jong-Un, the actors comedic skills are so very apparent in the piece, paired along with musical numbers, taken from well known tunes and reimagined, leaving audiences crying with laughter. Helen Dallimore is a standout in this show, providing careful yet hilarious portrayals of each character she plays, in particular, a skit of the ABC's 7:30 news program, in which she plays 6 women via video recording. Themes shown throughout the performance, all central to political issues, include an immensely funny sketch about Australia's Prime Minister, more commonly referred to as "Scomo", Pauline Hanson's activity over the past 6-9 months, from Kim Jong-Un launching missiles to Donald Trump heading into political power, UNR-DACT-D has it all.

Directors Jonathan Biggs and Drew Forsythe, having created the show, display a well thought out, and well played out, vision of the show, creating something that is not only full of laughs and enjoyment, but visually interesting and engaging. The stage fairly simple, mainly relying on lighting and video projection to jump between scenes. Lighting designer Matt Cox and video designer Ben Lightowlers work together perfectly to set the stage for each skit being performed, most notable in the Bob Hawke skit, in which we see Bob Hawke in heaven, with a projection of clouds in the background, and blue lights surrounding the stage, the setting is understood almost immediately by audiences. The set remained simple, using black metal staircases to add dimension to the piece, while remaining understated and leaving the focus on the performers, and mainly the video projection. Costume coordinator Scott Fisher has alot to work with in the piece, but perfectly finds attire for each character, and when paired with Margaret Aston's wigs, the actors pull complete transformations, becoming almost unrecognisable at times.

The Wharf Revue: UNR-DACT-D, presented by Sydney Theatre Company, is side-splitting entertainment at it's finest, giving commentary on the issues we face within modern politics not only here at home, but across the globe. UNR-DACT-D plays at the Riverside Theatre in Parramatta until September 21st before heading on the road until early December. This show is perfect for anyone up to date with their political knowledge, presenting the topics in an almost dark comedy manner, the show will leave you filled with joy, and maybe even a stitch or two.

Image Credit: Brett Boardman

All opinions and thoughts expressed within reviews on Theatre Travels are those of the writer and not of the company at large.


bottom of page