THEATRE REVIEW: The Dream Children

Ronald McCoy

It was gratifying seeing the full house at the opening night of Dream Children at the Carlton Courthouse for not only the opening night of the La Mama Theatre & Fly-On-The-Wall Theatre's 2009 season, but for the opening night of the Melbourne Midsumma Festival.
THEATRE REVIEW: The Dream Children
It was gratifying seeing the full house at the opening night of Dream Children at the Carlton Courthouse for not only the opening night of the La Mama Theatre & Fly-On-The-Wall Theatre's 2009 season, but for the opening night of the Melbourne Midsumma Festival. For this reason, the play’s theme, the desire to have children and gay parenting, is especially relevant due to the major legislative changes for gay men and lesbians in the past year in Victoria. In the play centres about the characters Steven, a TV personality and his partner of five years, Terry. The story then evolves when Terry says that he wants to be a parent, and follows the scenarios and complications that follow. The ensemble cast do a fine job of bringing the characters to life, and the set design worked well to reflect the various lifestyles of all of the characters. While the use of television and DVD segments obviously involved a lot of preparation, and worked well to create atmosphere, unfortunately Julia Britton’s script suffers from lack of depth. While the title of the play The Dream Children implies that there is an element of fantasy in the story, unfortunately, the scenarios that follow are unrealistic, at times patronising to gay men, often clichéd and demonstrate a lack of knowledge and research of the current climate and issues surrounding gay adoption. I found this disappointing and uncomfortable, which spoiled enjoyment of a play that could have explored this important area of many people’s lives, both gay men, the children they adopt and their biological parents. 2009 MIdsumma Festival, La Mama Theatre & Fly on the Wall, Theatre, Carlton Courthouse, Melbourne. Until Saturday 7 Feb 09. For more information see: http://www.lamama.com.au/

About the author

Ronald McCoy is a Melbourne medico and educator with a passion for the arts. He is a singer and musician of classical and traditional music, and is the National Library of Australia, National Folk Fellowship Fellow for 2007-08. He has been a regular reviewer on the Melbourne scene for the past couple of years, has published on a wide variety of arts and medicine topics, but still spends far too many hours putting pen to paper writing.