Relationships under the spotlight in classic Aussie comedy Daylight Savings

Saving what? Time? Summer? The sunset? A relationship? 

The 1980s? Rockdale’s Guild Theatre opens its 2019 season with a hilarious production of Nick Enright’s enduring comedy, Daylight Saving.

Since it premiered in 1989, Enright’s play has seen waves of production ebb and flow across the country. 

A slice of life, Enright’s acute observation of people and events are translated in a time capsule masquerading as a stage.

From the tape deck, VCR and communal living room phone – remember that thing- through a focus on tennis, throwaway references to Colonel Raubuka, jokes on the names of then, exotic Japanese food, to the wide belts, boofy hair, wicker furniture and technicolour artwork, the 1980s are brought vividly to life by the script, the set and the costumes. 

We don’t laugh at the 80s, the text is too strong for that, the 80s render an entertaining, lightweight tale.

Under the capable direction of Lyn Lee, the characters are brought to life in heightened proportions that are recognisable and easy to sympathise with.

Felicity, a successful restauranteur, is forced to examine her marriage after she is interviewed on TV and comes off unfavourably. Being questioned about fidelity particularly piques her. 

At the outset we are presented with a typical married couple, which is how Enright reaches out to touch his audience – this could be anyone’s marriage. 

Self-examination brings Felicity to the realization of how unfulfilled and neglected she is. 

With husband Tom away, and her first lover, Josh, calling on her she allows temptation an opening. 

Unfortunately for Josh’s brazen attempt at seduction, he has to weather the sudden appearances of Felicity’s neighbour, mother, a famous tennis player and then Tom as well.

Rosemary Ghazi heads a well-cast ensemble. Her portrayal of Felicity bubbles with warmth, vulnerability, feistiness and humour. 

Tye Byrnes is suitably absorbed in his client’s career and by extension his own.

Haki Pepo Olu Crisden exudes American confidence and charm while Susan Stapleton’s Stephanie is a recognisable member of many a female fraternity of friends. 

Newcomer Brayden Palmer shines in a sparkling cast as the immature, self-absorbed tennis prodigy while veteran, Deidre Campbell’s Bunty embodies the adorable, well-meaning but clueless mother.

An Aussie classic, Daylight Saving may be, but don’t expect a laid back, concentrated essay on manners flavoured with Australiana. 

More, a fast paced comedy with plenty of laughs delivering timeless and straight forward marital advice – don’t get so caught up in your work that you lose perspective on your relationship.

It, in this case, she, needs care and attention, too.

Daylight Saving is a polished production that delivers a fun night out. It’s on at The Guild Theatre, Rockdale, until March 9

  • Bookings: 9521 6358 or theguildtheatrerockdale@gmail.com