Sydney Fringe: Wil & Grace

Nicki Alchin
27th Nov 2021

Welcome to the world of an Inner West tragi comedy written by Madeleine Withington where the girls are either trying very hard to lose or to find the plot and the guys are drop dead gorgeous with a cute English accent in a cosy Inner West home recreated very believable on stage by stage manager, Brendon Taylor.

Erica Lovell has given clever, realistic direction to all cast members. Grace (Madeleine Withington) is the atypical Inner Westie creative, an actress constantly looking for the magic in life. Varya, played by Suz Mawer with such vigour and humour, is the atypical Inner Westie black sheep flip flopping from job to job with an in your face out there attitude who is also winning the award for being the best housemate and friend you'll ever have. Unlikely friends, the fierce relationship Varya and Grace share is tight. The length they go to in protecting each other from the bumps in the road of life, is admirable.

On a girls' night-in fuelled by alcohol, life musings and taking the piss out of each other, the audience lands right in the middle of a particularly stressful episode of Grace's life in which she is having a more than usual hard time negotiating reality. Booze, friendship and denial bring about a sequence of events that are not only funny but also tragic. This is where a hunky Englishman called Wil, Wil Shakespeare to be precise, as played by Joshua Shediak, plays a crucial role in pulling Grace through a tough patch.

Growing up, friendship, grief and making opportunities of the situations you are dealt, are the major themes of Wil and Grace. It is an Inner Westie coming of age story. If you currently live, or have lived in the Inner West during your finding your adult feet stage, you'll remember fondly your own turning points experienced at share houses, the bonds formed, the nights at The Townie, your dreams, and the exact moment and place you grew up to the realities of life. I definitely have a soft spot for Wil & Grace. I am sure many of our readers would too.

Currently playing till Saturday 4 December at Sydney Fringe HQ, Level 1, 5 Eliza Street Newtown. Get your tix at Sydney Fringe>>

Photos by Noni Carroll