Sydney Live
The Daily Telegraph Tuesday May 8, 2007

NEWS Inner West Courier 08.05.2007

NEWS Mosman Daily, Thursday, May 10, 2007

Review by Mark Jensen

Posted: Fri May 04, 2007

Post subject: Great Opening Night!

Tonight Nicolle and I went to TAP Gallery for the
opening of Clare Pickerings My Fair Lawyer.

TONY LAUMBERG has knocked out 7 plays, all comedies, all probably auto-biographical from his career as a Lawyer. On second thoughts, hopefully not. My Fair Lawyer revolves arou nd Henry Crowley (played by Mark McCann) senior partner in the largest law firm in Sydney. His life is as predictable as his St Ives spread except for an inability to keep wife Margaret (Tricia Youlden) happy in the cot. She has hit the bottle and a new Indian Psychiatrist (Gil Balfas) whilst Henry has had an unexpected country visitor half his age and definitely female (Clare Pickering).

The stage is set for the full range of lawyer, psychiatrist, Indian, jillaroo and frusty housewife gags.

This is the second play I’ve seen this year that’s unashamedly deepless. Its just a comedy. You go, sit back and enjoy the gags with the sure understanding of where we are all going, that we will arrive with a giggle, and in the end the precise ending doesn’t really matter, either way the cast will finish with a song.

Tonys plays all feature pretty much the same cast with Mark McCann, and Tricia Youlden being in 4 or 5 of the 7. Having a regular cast must be a blessing for a writer putting out more than 1 play per year. He can be confident they will ‘fit’ his words and, with the regular director Richard Cotter, can reduce the rehearsal time to a neat 4 weeks.

Our Actors Australia member, Clare Pickering, plays Cheryl, Chezza to her mates from Cessnock, with an accent that fractures glasses at 50 meters and a wardrobe of pink Uggy’s so deplorable I nearly freaked when Nicolle asked, after the show, where she could get a similar pair. Her characterization was wonderfully heightened and comedic timing spot on. She clearly enjoys her scenes and brings the audience along with her.

With all new plays, there is a feeling that some gags will tighten during the run, some words or lines may be honed, or concepts extended. This play certainly doesn’t need cutting – amazing for a premier season – and could actually do with a bit of time to pull off some more fun, especially in the climax. The set up for the ending is as good as the best English 70’s sitcom and we are waiting for the fun. It does occur, but the fruity bits could be squeezed a bit harder.

It’s a relief to see theatre that’s not pushing a barrow of politics, hate, anguish or melancholy. It just a pleasure to finish a hard week and be entertained by good acting and a fun script.


Serial legal farce writer Tony Laumberg (Unsolicited Male, Lawyers in Love, Lawyer! Lawyer!) has recommended his plays now come with a health warning. According to Laumberg, one of the female audience at a recent performance laughed so hard she had an asthma attack. Despite wheezing and struggling for air until the medication kicked in, she giggled all the way saying: “It’s too funny.”