Station J – An MI6 Comedy

Station J An MI6 Comedy Adelaide Fringe 2024

Adelaide Fringe. The Arch, Holden Street Theatres. 7 Mar 2024


It is almost axiomatic that if it’s performed at Holden Street Theatres, then one can expect high quality entertainment, but sadly, Station J – An MI6 Comedy is an exception to that rule.


Station J is an international branch office of MI6 fronting as an import-export business and is staffed by three ‘agents’ headed by Charles (played by James Rosier). He is joined by communications officer Terrance (Sam Browne) and Margaret (Annabel Green). They are grappling with a faulty radio and incoming messages are in disarray. Margaret is in the throes of manually deciphering one such message when they are set upon by Steven (Fi Parrey), a female double-O agent (or is she/he?) who channels and dresses like James Bond, but the text does little to capitalise on the gender bending. As the plot to blow up the world unfolds, they are joined by Admiral Planchett (Kieran Bullock, who co-wrote the play) who tries to outsmart Steven, but is he who he seems? The whole silly plot of double and triple agents culminates in Margaret showing her true colours and saving the day.


The script tries very hard at being funny, and at times seems as if it is trying to draw inspiration from classic British comedies such as Yes, Minister, but it falls short, and the laughs from the audience are sporadic at best.


The set is reasonably sophisticated for a Fringe production, and styles a hidden telecommunications room in a spy agency. The booby trap is almost hi tech!!


The actors play straight (as they should) work hard to extract as many laughs as possible from the script, but it’s hard work to land any real punches. Rosier is almost incomprehensible throughout because of his laboured and forced accent and uncomfortably brisk delivery. By contrast Green is convincing and holds the show together.


Station J is presented by Victorian independent theatre company Social Club Productions who are making a return visit to the Adelaide Fringe following other successes, but this show doesn’t satisfy.


Kym Clayton


When: 7 to 10 Mar

Where: The Arch, Holden Street Theatres