Three by 3

Pull Bar, K Rd Ballrooms. 214 K Rd, Newton, Auckland

08/03/2011 - 12/03/2011

Auckland Fringe 2011

Production Details


Three by 3, brings together Legless, Well Hung and What Does it Cost?, a trio of very different comedies featuring a physicist, a wedding night and a call girl: their common feature – three actors and one bed. 

Laurence has been writing plays since 2000 and was a member of the Auckland Theatre Company’s inaugural Writer’s Unit. “That was when I starting to take writing seriously”, says Laurence who gave up a full-time job to work part time and write.

Since then he has had plays staged as part of productions by the Auckland Playwrights Collective – Motel Nights, at The Herald Theatre in 2007 and in 2008 Itchy Apteryx staged a two-week season of Daddy’s Home at The Basement.

Of Daddy’s Home, critics said:
“ enjoyed on many levels – from its comedic moments which had every parent in the audience roaring in recognition, to the emotion-junkies like myself getting a fix “ – Lumiere Reader

In 2007 Laurence was invited to take part in the Urbis 24 Hour Theatre and wrote The Conversion. In 2010 his two-person drama One Day received a staged rehearsed reading at the Court Theatre in Christchurch as part of Fresh Ink.

Legless was first staged as part of Motel Nights; Well Hung was part of Auckland’s first Short & Sweet in 2010 and What Does it Cost? is brand new.

Laurence says he is excited by the possibilities of the Auckland Fringe, especially the use of new venues. 

Three by 3 will be staged at the
Pull Bar, K’ Rd Ballrooms, 214 K’Road, Newton  
Three by 3 plays Tuesday 8th to Saturday 12th March, 7.30pm
Tickets: Adults $16, Concession $12 (service fees apply)



One out of three worth developing

Review by Adey Ramsel 09th Mar 2011

 “Three short plays, long on laughs”, says the publicity for this production. True there are three short plays but in some cases the laughs are also short. 

Playwright Laurence Dolan has created some interesting situations for his playlets but for me they mostly start in the wrong place. I can’t say too much without giving away plots, but Dolan seems to enjoy ending each piece with a revelation. Unfortunately it is at this point when the play becomes interesting. It’s an old rule that the story should start when something happens but the opposite seems to be the case here. Up pops something that changes the course of action and could send it off on a different tangent and… Blackout! 

There is nothing wrong with each premise. They would be ideal for the beginnings of longer pieces but for ten-minute plays they leave us feeling short-changed.

The cast of three cope well with the limited space and multiple roles. Tom Kane features in all the plays and shows a marked difference between characters. 

Andrea Bates features in two of the pieces. Her bride in the second piece, though, shows little variation from her first appearance as a prostitute and seems to be the same character, albeit slightly watered down. 

Ashton Brown provides many of the solid laughs of the night, appearing as an over excited young man and eagerly expectant bridegroom. 

How Much Does it Cost? is the first play up and has echoes of Rattle of a Simple Man, featuring a prostitute who wants to talk, and a reluctant customer. Bates’ prostitute though seems to suffer from a lack of convincing dialogue and true conviction for what she does as a job.

Well Hung is a nice little piece concerning two guys having to share a motel room for the night. While Brown shows some comic finesse in his role, Kane seems to spend the time angry at himself, his room mate and the world at general for a reason that isn’t too clear. 

Legless is the final piece of the night and here is the germ for a full-length work. Original, interesting from the first entrance with oodles of scope for character development, this is the play Dolan could concentrate on. With the right support this play could be a winner with something to say, if extended to ‘full length’. 

This review kindly supported by The James Wallace Arts Trust

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