Grey Nomad - Theatre Review

By Joan Alperin

Ros Gentle, Paul Tassone, Wendy Hammers and David Ross Paterson
Photo: Adrian Wlodarczyk
Australian playwright Dan Lee came up with the idea for "Grey Nomad," a couple of years ago. He was living in the Australian town of Boome and noticed that every year during the dry season, 15,000-60,000 baby boomers would come to town in their R.V.'s -- retired folk who decided to spend the rest of their lives just traveling around the country.

When the play opens, we meet Helen, played by the excellent Ros Gentle, and her husband, Jim (David Ross Paterson), sitting on a beach. The set is comprised of only two, three or four chairs at a time and it's the imagination of these talented actors allows the audience to travel to these locations. Jim has waited his whole life to stop working and hit the road where he could spend his days fishing, barbecuing and camping. Helen, however, doesn't share his enthusiasm. She misses her children and her life back home.

Jim loves to talk and talk, but to Helen's dismay, he's only interested in talking to her. It seems her hubby is extremely anti-social. That explains why he wants to hide from the couple they had met earlier. Helen, on the other hand, is much more open to meeting new people, and she's about to get her wish. Running onto the stage comes this wild half-naked American woman, Val (Wendy Hammers), followed by her husband, Tim (Paul Tassone), who loves his body (perhaps even more than he loves his wife). Tim takes great pleasure in performing various yoga positions where he exposes his 'family jewels.'

Throughout the play, the couples meet each other at different places, at a restaurant, in Val and Tim's luxurious camper and a club where they're having a wet t-shirt contest. It's through Helen and Jim's relationship with Val and Tim that they wind up discovering what really matters in life.

"Grey Nomad," directed by Iain Sinclair is not a perfect play. At times it's hard to understand the actors dialogue because of their accents, but it is funny and touching, and a trip worth taking, especially for the baby boomer generation.

The play is presented by the Australian Theatre Company as a visiting production at Skylight Theatre. Performances continue through October 8.

Interviews with the cast here.

Posted By Discover Hollywood on September 20, 2017 09:35 am | Permalink