Adelaide Fringe – The Portable Dorothy Parker

Adelaide Fringe - The Portable Dorothy Parker

The Adelaide Fringe is underway for 2024, and I was lucky enough to see The Portable Dorothy Parker, a production currently playing at the Arch in the Holden Street Theatres. Grove Goddess Productions, Fringe Management LLC, and Joanne Hartstone bring this production to you.

Upon entering the theatre, I was greeted by music of the 1940s era and a simple production set containing a drinks table, phone table, chair and a fashionable standard lamp. This setting was very well suited to the space on offer.

The role of Dorothy was ably played by Margot Avery, a third-generation actor from the United States. She commands the stage in the gentle telling of a moment in Dorothy’s life. Margot speaks to the audience as if we are the person working for Viking Press, the publisher for whom she is putting together the book “The Portable Dorothy Parker”, which is the title of Dorothy’s first collection of literary work.

Adelaide Fringe - The Portable Dorothy Parker

Dorothy Parker was a prolific writer, ensuring plenty of Dorothy’s authored material from which the play’s writer, Annie Lux, could draw upon. We get a sense of Dorothy’s character through her reminiscences as she sorts through samples of her writing and reads them to the invisible interviewer.

The direction by Lee Costello reinforces Dorothy’s character. Her movements around the sparse set to certain elements helped us gain insights into Dorothy’s character, such as the drinks cabinet, telephone and piles of paper and books. Through this, Dorothy talks about her life and namedrops her famous friends and acquaintances such as Ernest Hemingway, F Scott Fitzgerald and others.

A sizable audience enjoyed the show, with plenty of quiet chuckles from the attendees, who were clearly enjoying the wit of Dorothy’s writing. Only a couple of times did I miss a word or two. But that is only a minor complaint.

Overall, I enjoyed this brief look into the life of Dorothy Parker. The creative team of Margot Avery, Lee Costello and Annie Lux have put together a nice piece of work. From the simple set and sound effects to the acting, it is well worth catching it before the end of the Fringe.

Tickets are on sale now for The Portable Dorothy Parker, which is showing from the 13th of February to the 17th of March with a runtime of 60 minutes.

This review also appears on It’s On The House, and check out more reviews at Dark Stories Theatre to see what else is on in your town.

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