Liz Mente Bishop directs this hilarious and refreshing revival of Nell Dunn’s classic 80s hit play

Peter Hayes

This well-known comedy offers some true delights and sheer entertainment.

It’s really great to be able to see a thoroughly well produced and performed show at The Elgiva Theatre with Nell Dunn’s Steaming, a play that’s been done countless times before but this time leaves a lasting taste.

steaming The Elgiva Theatre

A proper ensemble six woman piece with each character bursting of life. Hats off, or should I say towels off, to Liz Mente Bishop (actor, director & producer) for her great portrayal as Nancy. She delicately makes her entrance appearing nervous at first when faced with some of the other brash women, but then eases into the working class women’s relaxed and loose banter which later leads to a touching outburst of canned worms!

Aside from the ongoing nudity, which the women approach with ease and no graces, they provide constant laughter and some shocking one liners true to Dunn’s original script. True friendships and chemistry between the women bounce around the stage, as does the conflict which slowly builds between both Dawn (played by the charming Karly Friend) and her claustrophobic mother Mrs. Meadow (played by the very funny Gaye Poole).

As the ladies of the baths become closer and hatch a plan to prevent the council from shutting down their haven, the tension begins to rise almost sending one women over the edge, which results in the mother of all showdowns between Nancy and this play’s leading lady Josie, who needs no introduction to this story and is played by the cracking Rayanna Dibs who is on stunning form from the moment she bursts onto the stage until her final curtain call.

steaming The Elgiva Theatre

Dibs fully embraces Josie and the constant battle she encounters with nasty men, lack of funds, and ultimately a damaged soul. She is not afraid to show both the audience and her fellow ladies exactly who she is and does so beautifully with truth and heart.

It could be easy to lose sight of the story being set in a steam room, and an impressive set it was, but the girls did a great job and held their own to the bitter sweet end!

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