Higher Ground - March 2007

When the president is caught sleeping with a beautiful woman on the floor of his office, and the scandal is reported nationally in every magazine and newspaper, the radical step is taken of ignoring the advice of his political advisor and releasing a media statement affirming everything that has been reported. When the public doesn’t like what they hear, the president and his wife must come up with an ingenious plan to win the election and stay in government.

Paul Davies as the president has a strong presence in this wide and very open performing space; unfortunately his performance is the only one big enough to fill it. Natalie Page, who plays the president’s wife speaks with great diction but often loses the focus required to stay with her character through the long and wordy scenes. Phillip Riley, Advisor to the president and the show’s creator unfortunately appears to be out of his depth on the stage, though the script is innovative and shows promise, his performance was frequently too quiet and his delivery often directed at the floor.

Supporting performances by Chantal Amos, Tallora di Girolami and Amrit Kumar as the ‘presidents girls’ are refreshing and break the long scenes, but the dance sequences run too long and often without motivation.
The use of multi-media was effective, the sound effects and voice over’s were excellent and the music choice relevant, unfortunately it was so loud it only served to highlight how difficult it was to hear some if the live action on stage.

This is a light hearted piece of theatre, written, directed and performed by local artists and capturing everything that the Fringe is about. Definitely worth a look if you are interested in a piece of thought provoking writing – what if John Howard slept around?

Paul Rodda