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The Sentimental Bloke: Review

Australian Classical Theatre - a scene from The Sentimental Bloke

Helen Thomson, The Age

Sometimes a little theatre gem surfaces from the fringe, in this case The Sentimental Bloke. I attended a performance that put this show to the acid test, entertaining several groups of school children in their early teens at a midweek matinee… I was captured from the start as was the young audience…

Stewart Morritt makes a superb Bill with just the right mixture of rueful acknowledgement of his faults along with a cheerful readiness to do better—and all for love… The company has cleverly interpolated speech from the other characters, pop music that makes an amusing commentary on the action, silent movie and vaudeville interludes and non-stop physical action. The result is the liveliest of interpretations and an important comic take on the poem’s sentimentality.

Best of all, there’s not a hint of a patronizing attitude to Dennis’ characters. There may be a quaintness to their simple affirmations of what is important in life—love, family, useful work, good friends—but also a timelessness.

Managing to be both exuberant and moving, The Sentimental Bloke is a wonderful antidote to the blues, with its optimistic affirmation that an ordinary bloke can get lucky too.