Courtney Rose Brown
After missing the Everybody Cool Lives Here company’s award winning season of Wake Up Tomorrow in Fringe 2015, I jumped at the opportunity to see them back in action, this time presenting the devised show No Post on Sunday. Directed by Isobel MacKinnon, No Post on Sunday is a welcome addition to the company’s glowing reputation.
No Post on Sunday is a story of community and of friendship, performed brilliantly by the charismatic cast. The story follows the lives of local postmen/best friends Harry (Jacob Dombroski) and David Stanley (Duncan Armstrong) as they organise and deliver mail, running into obstacles along the way. Armstrong and Dombroski have perfect chemistry and easily strike a loving friendship.
News reporter and David’s fiancee, Wendy Martin (Nicholas Smith), gives updates on the goings-on around the town, following the case of the missing mail and creating many moments of humour throughout. We meet Eco Bill and the Mayor, performed by Andrew Gunn and Barnaby Olson respectively (also a part of the ensemble) who assist in bringing the town to life. Gunn and Olson work well as a team, they aptly perform distinct characters and do well navigating the narrative forward as at times the story gets a bit derailed.
The cast soars through the performance with constant laughter from the audience as they weave in and out of light and darkness, nailing life lessons that resonate with the audience as well as creating great moments of empathy.
Narration cleverly sets up the world of the town (and is used throughout) as Harry maneuvers set pieces (cardboard boxes) to make the buildings as they are are being referenced. Meg Rolland’s set design is wonderful consisting of rectangular, wooden frames that set up home spaces and areas of the community, with the odd patch of wall paper in homes. Blinds and the aforementioned boxes are also used to represent locations, my favourite being the apartment building and the humourous journeys up and down the levels. The smallness of David Stanley’s house is particularly enjoyable as the set incorporates moments of surprise and comedy.
The sound design is excellent, beautifully executed by Rowan Pierce, it adds to the slice-of-life feel of the play. There are interludes of music and rhythm throughout which help to set up transitions as well as plot developments. In particular, the rhythm at the beginning establishes the fluidity of the post office and heightens the disruption when things start to go wrong.
Lighting designer Owen McCarthy helps set the tone of the piece and is effective in its support of establishing space. My favourite moment of Owen’s design works to build one of the saddest moments, where the stage is at its darkest and a soft light focuses on what audibly makes the audience ‘aww.’
No Post on Sunday is one of the funniest and most enjoyable shows that I have seen this year and more importantly, the show touched my heart, inspiring me to be a better person. The stories of friendship and the interaction of the townspeople stresses the values of community and compassion without being too heavy, it simply reminds the audience to give more love.