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True Minds

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A huge thunderstorm rolls across the city as successful, slightly silly chic lit author Daisy (Nikki Shiels) frantically scrambles to clean up her apartment before the imposing, Thatcher-esque Vivienne (Louise Siversen) arrives to see if Daisy is the ‘right’ type of woman to be marrying her much mollycoddled son Benedict (Matthew McFarlane).

Then things get complicated. Benedict’s stuck at the airport, Daisy’s former flame Mitch (Adam Murphy) drops by fresh out of rehab, followed by her Lefty pinko dad Maxim (Alex Menglet), who has just found out his daughter is about to marry the son of his arch enemy. And Daisy hasn’t even put the vol-au-vents on yet!

Joanna Murray-Smith’s True Minds made its world debut at the MTC a few weeks ago, a screwball comedy of Shakespeareanhappenstance. Murray-Smith’s dialogue is rapid-fire and the cast clearly enjoy the mix of physical and pithy comedy. Undies get chucked in freezers, dip thrown in washing machines, couches used as steps in Tracy Grant Lord’s immense, interactive set.

While True Minds never takes itself too seriously, it does take aim at nearly every facet of Australian social and political discourse – the Left, the Right, marriage equality, New Age remedies, binge drinking, celebrity worship – nothing escapes unscathed. The result is that True Minds tends to preach more than developing its characters or plot, but it’s still a fun ride.

Though overly long at 105 minutes, the production gets a shot in the arm at the one hour mark with the arrival of Benedict, played by an excellent Matthew McFarlene as the handsome, helicopter-skiing, prancing peacock private school boy who’s a mummy’s boy at heart (we all know one).

Does Daisy choose rich and flashy Ben or former drunk but charming Mitch? You’ll have to see True Minds to find out.

True Minds is playing at The Sumner, Southbank Theatre until June 8. For tickets visit mtc.com.au.


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