Critical opinion is mixed on Lally Katz’s latest play. They love the production, the text not so much.
“The play has so little focus, and misses most of its comedic marks,” wrote Ben Neutze in a 2.5 star pan for The Daily Review. “Worse still, the big issues it touches on – climate change, family, fertility, morality, home, sex – are only considered in reference to how they affect Katz. That feels frequently indulgent.”
Angus McPherson’s take for Limelight was more positive regarding the text (“recurring jokes and subtler motifs threaded through the work give it an elegant unity”), though he later suggests a pruning of this two-and-a-half hour show “could bring the play into sharper focus”. That said, he was moved to describe Atlantis as “a joyous epic of self-discovery with plenty of heart”.
Rosemary Myers’ direction and Jonathon Oxlade’s stage design came in for less qualified praise. Audrey editor Jason Blake, in his review for the Sydney Morning Herald, described the production as “enchanting, inventive and very funny” and he singled out actor Amber McMahon for her work. “Her energy is as infectious as it is tireless,” he concluded.
Over at The Australian, John McCallum agreed: “[Katz] is served fantastically well by Amber McMahon, who plays Lally’s brave sense of adventure, her apparently fearless frankness and her ruefully comic self-awareness with a mixture of comic energy and sudden moments of emotional tenderness. The effect is entrancing.”
Composer Kate Miller-Heidke, no doubt looking for some fun during the final days of rehearsals for Muriel’s Wedding the Musical was plentifully entertained. “Sydney people, see @lallykatz‘s new play Atlantis,” she tweeted. “Hilarious, masterfully crafted, big-hearted theatre. Greatest sex scene ever.”
“Man, I can’t express how much I LOVE Lally Katz’s latest play at @BelvoirSt,” tweeted Benjamin Law. “You’ll cry-laugh and come up grinning so hard your face’ll hurt.”