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Happy Ending

12 September 2012 | 5:45 am | Liza Dezfouli

Happy Ending is a bright, shiny cracker of a comedy from the Lawler Studio season at the MTC. Melissa Reeves has made a happy beginning, middle and ending with this one. It's intelligent and downright hilarious. Her characters are distinctive and are given good things to say. All the characters are memorable, especially the protagonist Lou, a woman in her 40s with a very first world problem: a rife sexual obsession with a young Chinese masseur in Northland. Roz Hammond's hard-talking best friend, Liliana, and Christopher Connelly is superb doubling up as Alec/Dave. A premise like this one could have you raising a sceptical eyebrow but Happy Ending as a production is a fecund coupling of script and cast and succeeds with flair. Directed with sharpness and distinctive style by Susie Dee, the actors act large without hamming up the comedy or getting cheesy. The set and staging are lovely. The play touches on some big issues with sensitivity and balls. It never patronises its characters, not even hapless Lou (Nell Feeney) who makes such a cringe-worthy idiot of herself. Gareth Luen handles young Lu brilliantly. This reviewer remained in the theatre in a fit of giggles well after the curtain call.