Tag Archives: Cosi


11 Aug

They say that laughter is the best medicine, and it certainly is a wonderful anti-depressant, but can it fix crazy? I hope not, because then the cast of Cosi would be cured and the fun would all be over! Cosi is the chaotic Louis Nowra play, first performed in Australia in 1992.  The chaos on stage was matched only by my own raucous laughter, which has often been the embarrassment of my friends. 

Cosi follows a director who is plunged into an asylum for a social experiment to direct the inmates in a play. The social worker is determined that this will “bring them out of their shells.” She has clearly forgotten that most people are in asylums for not staying far enough in their shells as is socially acceptable! The cast contains a pyromaniac, murderer, committed drug addict and other various crazies. 

The cast within the cast ambitiously decides to stage Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte much to the dismay of the director, as he would rather do something more meaningful for him, like Brecht. His is eventually swayed and the story rollicks forward with the production of an opera involving no singing and in English!

Guy de Lancey absolutely gleams as the ring leader of the inmates. He is mesmerising. But don’t only keep your eyes on him, because then you will miss Adrian Collins and Luke Ellenbogen’s hilarious side antics which could easily overtake the drama. Seeing Luke with a bucket on his head and later hopping around naked (in strategically dimmed lighting!) made me roar with that same embarrassing laughter.

Kate Liquorish is the overbearing social worker on the edge of a mental break herself, and the cool Andrew Laubscher plays the director, playfully nicknamed Jerry by the inmates.

Scott Sparrow’s direction is wonderful and he clearly has worked hard to get the absolute best out of his cast. The relationships on stage are believable and the truth about the complications of love really shines through in both the opera and the play itself. The characters are warm and loveable (except of course when they’re vulgar and repulsive, but such is the charm of nutcases!). Adrian Collins’ character produces particularly poignant moments and brings the central conflict of the time to life.

 Unfortunately Cosi’s run at the Little Theatre has ended, but I sincerely encourage you to see anything done by the Mechanicals troupe. This season lasts until the 29th August and they have moved to the Intimate theatre to present Highway Crossing and Endgame. I doubt my laughter will ring through the theatre in Endgame, but I’m sure it’ll be worth every absurd moment.

Cosi, Written: Louis Nowra, Directed: Scott Sparrow, Starring: the Mechanicals troupe.