By Madeline Clouston

The Removalists – a true-blue Aussie work by David Williamson fondly remembered by many as a HSC Drama text, kicked off the UTS Backstage 2016 season. The story follows two suburban policemen as they help a beaten housewife leave her husband, with all their furniture in tow, however complications arise when her husband arrives home from the pub unexpectedly.

The first act sped by with a fast paced exchange between the two policemen. James Wilson portrayed Sergeant Simmons, an officer lazier than Chief Wiggum who self gratifies by abusing his power, and the poor new recruit, Constable Ross (Remy Danoy). Wilson struggled with his lines at points but all other cast members were strong in their portrayals and did well to get their tongues around Williamson’s quick-witted dialogue. James Denton gave a solid performance as rough, Aussie-asshole-abuser Kenny, but at times went ocker beyond comprehension, leading to some missed jokes.

When energy lapsed in the second half it was always picked up by the entrance of Lachlan Campbell who was a stand out performer in his role as The Removalist. The comic timing of his one-liners set the audience off into roaring laughter that disguised the fact that the theatre was located under the flight path.

Director Michael Karagiannakis should be commended on his work. His rendition of The Removalists carefully negotiates issues such as domestic violence with necessary sensitivity. To pull off such a show in a short seven week period is a tough feat and Karagiannakis has done a wonderful job.

The Removalists is showing at the Hellenic Art Theatre in Marrickville till the 26th of March. Click here for more info.