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October 30, 2014

Review: Stories I Want To Tell You In Person

Lally Katz is better known for her work off the stage as a playwright, but for this show she takes up the mantle of performer and proves that her quick wit translates perfectly from page to stage.

  • Words: Lauren Bezzina

Lally Katz’s newest show, Stories I Want To Tell You In Person, tells the story of how she wrote the very show we are watching, and it comes back on itself at the end like a good episode of Seinfeld.


Stories I Want To Tell You In Person is showing at the Bakehouse Theatre until November 8. It is presented by Brink Productions in partnership with Belvoir and Malthouse Theatre.

Slightly feminine without being feminist, it relies on the talent of Lally herself as the (almost) only performer on stage. With a minimal set consisting of a golden backdrop (with just the right level of glisten), and a simple wooden chair, Katz demands your attention with her controlled-yet-energetic delivery and her wide eyed, intense expression. Simple lighting transitions, and other lo-fi effects such as paper snow, help move the story along as Lally goes travelling, or introduces a new character.

The accounts are believable, transitions executed well, and accents endearing. Lally bequeaths the various players in the plot with enough mannerisms and unique facial expressions that they remain distinct and easy to follow in the plot, even as the story takes on that familiar woven-pathway-through-time structure that comedic storytellers so often adopt.

Highlights from the 60 minute runtime include a battle of the fortune tellers (one of them pregnant meaning extra potent powers, and peak rates for curse removal), Lally’s relationship with the ‘Full Jew’ and her tone deaf karaoke rendition of Don’t cry for me Argentina.

For audience members without a background knowledge of Lally’s work, some elements of the story could have less impact, but that won’t stop you from laughing repeatedly throughout the show. Adelaide’s Bakehouse Theatre is just the right size for you to take in Lally’s ‘stories to be told in person’ through the mediums of her energy and captivating hybrid accent – an Aussie meets East coast American Jewish mix.

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