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One book – three great monologues – three great comedy scripts to brilliantly showcase an actor’s skills.
Gavin Regrets, 12mins
Ever found yourself in a ludicrous situation and wondered how the heck you got there? Somehow Gavin’s found himself having to explain to the police how he ended up thigh-deep, naked, with his underpants on his head and stuck in mud “up to me nuts”, rescuing an unconscious dwarf in a kiddy bike trailer snagged on a rock in the middle of the river. Tracing it back decision by decision we see there’s a strange, almost credible, logic to this hilarious tale of a moron given enough rope.
Teamed with a drunken dwarf, Gavin has risked life and someone else’s limb to win the stupidest of all pub bets: a late-night race to determine the quickest route from Fremantle to Perth. With two cartons of Jim Beam, a rubber dinghy and the footy used in the 1986 WAFL Quarter Finals at stake, he heads off with the unfortunate little guy to win glory for his mates and settle this vexing issue once and for all. Losing his cargo over the Narrows Bridge was not, however, part of the plan. But a bet’s a bet so Gavin is honour bound to rescue him. He takes off upriver to save his now bleeding and injured passenger; a plan that also fails to meet its aim and results in Gavin rousing half the neighbourhood with his bellowing, and finally his arrest.
Gavin Regrets is a rollicking good laugh from a character we’ve all seen and wondered how come they’re still alive, and was the winner of the Maj Monologues’ Peoples’ Choice Award in 2007.
Shelly Kelly’s Day O’ Destiny, 14mins
Shelly Kelly’s daydreamed her destiny moment so often she can feel it in her waters. Long days up the top paddock mustering sheep gave her ample time to prepare for That Day, when a gobsmacked audience hears her phenomenal talent and her tiny Wheatbelt town is lobbed triumphantly back on the map. Life, however, rarely runs according to script, something Shelley finds out with embarrassing results.
But that’s okay. Our Shell’s a beaut girl and bounces back with all the resilience and understated charm you’d expect from an innocent away from the hometown who thinks the world of her.
Shelly Kelly’s Day O’ Destiny is poignant, laugh-out-loud funny and heartwarming. We cheer Shelly on as she attempts to realise her dream of being just like Susan Boyle and bringing some much-needed attention to her struggling town by winning Australia’s Got Talent. The only problem is, Shelly doesn’t have any. Not that she knows it of course, not until the silence in the studio following her try-out is shattered by the laughter from both audience and judges. Not knowing whether to “cry or hit someone” she delivers the hilarious put-down line to Danii Minogue that sees her packing her bags back to the farm.
Shelly’s earthy response to the whole shemozzle serves up a feel-good ending to make you proud of living in a country that produces people like her. We might have had a good laugh at her expense but we leave in admiration of her spirit.
Shelly Kelly’s Day O’ Destiny was the winner of the Maj Monologues’ Judges Prize and the Peoples’ Choice Award in 2010.
Valerie Gets Hitched, 5mins
Our blousy middle-aged bride, a few champagnes into the party already, charges her glass to Cuddlechunks: her “caringest, most dependeblest little lapdog of a husband”, Kevin, and proceeds to deliver what she thinks is a speech praising the virtues of the groom but instead reveals an hilarious soul mate attraction…that is oddly romantic.
Valerie is a load of fun for any actress to play: she’s loud, she’s vain, she blubs, she thinks – so wrongly – that she’s still hot and spouts forth such an unjustifiably high opinion of herself we can’t help but laugh at her and the poor sap she’s just married.
But in the end it’s a love story. Her outrageous self-delusions are shared by her new husband, so when she blubbers, “You deserve me Kevin,” we can’t help but agree. And wonder just how much trouble the groom has just said, “I do” to.
Valerie Gets Hitched won the Shorelines Writing for Performance Award in 2008.
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