It’s a strike!

20 June 2022

Local theatre company strikes just the right note, with a feel-good story of female friendship and tenpins, writes Claire Trolio.

Review: Pull the Pin, Just Friends Theatre Company ·
The Blue Room Theatre, 18 June 2022 ·

Quite the lark, Pull the Pin is a hilarious look at friendship and ageing against the backdrop of competitive tenpin bowling. It’s presented by Just Friends Theatre Company, the new local outfit that gave us the Fringe World hit ALLSTARS earlier this year.

Three female friends, aged between 45 and 52, meet each week at their local bowling alley. Ang (Tegan Mulvany), Donna (Elisa Williams) and Jules (Caitlin Beresford-Ord) catch up over wine, chicken nuggets and a few games. But this year they’ve moved from the social competition into the cut-throat competitive league, and things are getting serious.

Tegan Mulvany, Elisa Williams and Caitlin Beresford-Ord are superb as The Old Hags. Photo: Sophie Minissale

William Gammel’s traverse stage brings those lanes to life. With balls bowled through the middle of the room coupled with impeccable sound from composer Jacob Sgorous and sound designer David Stewart, I was right back at Fairlanes for my 13th birthday party.

Mulvany, Williams and Beresford-Ord are superb as The Old Hags (as they call their team), who navigate their way through life and relationships with just the right amount of hard truths and heartfelt moments to give depth to an otherwise light show. Under Sian Murphy’s direction, this trio touch on life’s gutter balls whilst giving the audience a frothy good time.

Rebecca Fingher has written a cracker of a script, managing to joke about middle-age in a way that’s applauding and respectful of her characters. She articulates anxieties surrounding changing bodies, intersections of identity and family, and the legacies we leave, with a delicacy beyond her 23 years. Fingher draws from a bottomless well of jokes about the millennial/gen X chasm.

A man dressed as a bowling pin lies spreadeagled on the floor, a bowling ball next to him. A woman kneels behind him.
Isaac Diamond is charming as… a bowling pin. Photo: Sophie Minissale

That millennial voice is delivered by Hannah Davidson in the form of Lake, a 19-year old bowling-alley bully. Each moment I thought she might push the role too far, she took it even further, and the result was even funnier. Davidson’s talent for comedy is a show stealer.

The cast is rounded out by Isaac Diamond as a charming… bowling pin. Armed with an electric guitar, he functions as the storyteller, peppering the action with a good yarn and quivering with anticipation when Jules searches for that illusive strike. Diamond is coy but commanding.

Everything’s downright loveable about Pull the Pin. Here for a good time, not a long time, this team make their 55 minutes count.

Pull the Pin continues at The Blue Room Theatre until 2 July.

Pictured top is Caitlin Beresford-Ord in ‘Pull the Pin’. Photo: Sophie Minissale

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Author —
Claire Trolio

Claire Trolio completed a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) and a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) at UWA. She writes about Western Australia for various digital and print media and owns a shop with her sister. For her, the spider swing is the ultimate in playground fun.

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