Is it the client in his criminal law case? Is it Geoffrey Rush's agent seeking a role for the star in a new laumberg play?
Or a New York composer with a chart-topping score?
When solicitor Tony Laumberg's mobile rings, he never knows which profession he'll be called on to practise.


All costs met before we start."Laumberg catches LSJ's calculating smile and nods: "You're thinking of My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Yes? There should be a good turnout."

Rush to Invest

On the subject of funding, he has another surprise. “I’ve got investors in the forthcoming April production of Unsolicited Male. They’ve put money into it and will share in the profits.”
While LSH congratulates him, he continues with his progress report: “I’ve rewritten Unsolicited Male – it’s 20 minutes longer and includes a song. One of the actresses sings a cappella. I had no idea she had such a wonderful voice. Then I saw her in another play where she was singing. She’s fantastic. So my long-term goal is now to turn Unsolicited Male into a musical and put in on at the Capitol Theatre”.
This is too much. “No – no it’s not”. LSJ is still trying to visualise a blend of Stephen Sondheim, Oscar Hammerstein and Harry Miller, when Laumberg produces yet another theatrical production from his briefcase – with Henri Szeps in the lead role. “Did I tell you he’s going to play my father?”

Henri’s bowled over

“This one’s called The Lucky One. About the Holocaust. Very funny, believe it or not. My father always told me I’d have to wait till my 30s before he’d talk about his experiences in Bergen-Belsen; so when I hit my 30s I called on him to keep his promise and taped the conversations I had with him over a period of six months.
He was such a diverting storyteller. He could break you up laughing. Henri Szeps was on the floor when I told him some of Dad’s stories.”
Laumberg, whose father died a few years ago, had previously sent a script ahead to Szeps's agent and was thrilled when the actor offered to play the role of the father."He's tied up with Cabaret till July and then has his own oneman performance at the Ensemble, but there's a small window of opportunity between them when he can do a few performances at the Hakoah Club." "And you say you're still carrying on your legal practice?" "Yes - that's the amazing thing. As the theatrical part of my life expands, so does my practice."Laumberg's accountant then joined the growing cast in this interview.
I share my accountant with Gary Penny, now a theatrical producer but once a solicitor/producer. Penny rang me one day because my accountant told him about me. He said he used to have two desks in his office. One was the desk for law work and the other the desk for theatre work. He changed professions by changing desks.

"For those who missed out on the first run of Unsolicited Male, or who would like to hear the new song and assess the performance of the new lead actor, John Marsh, the play is having a re-run at the Edge Theatre in Newtown, between 1 and 27 April.
Tickets are $24 and $18 concession. Book at MCA on 9645 1611 or at wwwmca-
Mention the word "lawyer" and buy four tickets for the price of three. J

CAN THERE BE A SYNERGY between two unrelated careers?
That's the question Sydney solicitor Tony Laumberg has put to himself in a period when both his legal practice and his career as a playwright/theatre producer have been tearing ahead like a pair of huskies straining at the leash.
"One career seems to generate energy in the other,"he told LSJ. "I've just come to the end of an eight-day criminal trial that's been adjourned, and I've so many things going on in the theatre ... but I don't look stressed, do l?"
Far from it. Very healthy in fact, very calm, succinct and orderly in spelling out exactly what he wants to communicate to Law Society members interested in the theatre. Some of them are probably among the 20 per cent of the lawyer take-up for the production of Laumberg's first play, Unsolicited Male, which had a two-week run at the Tap Gallery last August.
LSJ readers may remember that the play featured a young ambitious solicitor with an eye on a London Posting, desperate to make a good impression on the senior partner and his wife whom he had invited to dinner, and devastated when his father, a shoe salesman, turned up as an uninvited guest.

The play that paid

"First off, I must tell you, the production made a substantial profit," Laumberg confided, obviously delighted to add, "I was able to pay the actors. They were stunned. One told me it, was the first time in 12 years they'd ever been paid for a part in a venture like this."
Laumberg attributes the play's profitability to the business expertise he has acquired in legal practice.
"More than that, the feedback was tremendous. Some of my friends confessed they'd gone along not knowing quite what to expect, and were "'blown away". "We didn't realise it was so deep," one said. "It really made us think about our own lives."
Another unexpected outcome was the enthusiastic audience response to the characters of the senior partner and his wife.
"That was so remarkable. I decided to write a play specially for them, a spin-off called The Great Divide."
Tbe new play, set in St Ives, turns on the conflict arising between the senior partner, his wife, and their new neighbours, a young Greek couple intent on replacing the old paling fence with a rendered brick wall. "That's when World War Ill breaks out.,"

Charming Greeks bear gifts

Offstage, the conflict is one that has definitely charmed the Greeks. The lead actor is a Greek Australian, Dimitri Psiropoulos. He used to be with the Bell Shakespeare Company. He's in Abu Dhabi at the moment teaching English but he'll be back in time for the August opening at the Edge Theatre."And you won't believe this: the new play has already been fully funded by a Greek patron.