Not Finished With You Yet! (Musical) {Melbourne International Comedy Festival} – Theatre Review

Rating: 1.5 out of 5.

Not Finished With You Yet! is certainly a unique premise.

Written and composed by Dick Gross AM, directed by Kim Anderson, with choreography by Jordan Pollard, Not Finished With You Yet! follows the idea on what if the law was changed and Australia made it compulsory that all marriages must end in divorce after 13 years.

Not Finished With You Yet! is a bit ridiculous, but it isn’t the premise that is ridiculous. As absurd as the law part is (and it really is), there is a chilling wave of drag shows being banned right now in states across the US, and don’t even get me started on the disgusting anti-abortion laws over there that only rolled in mid last year. Those laws are unfortunately very, very real.

No, the divorce law doesn’t sound so farfetched at all when you think about it. And at this stage, in crazy 2023, anything can happen which is both exciting and terrifying. What is ridiculous though is the plot of Not Finished With You Yet! and the many holes it contains.

For any story, the plot is the most important part. The way a story is told and unfolds can make or break any film, series, or show. While the concept of Not Finished With You Yet! has substance, the character story arcs don’t feel fully realised, nor are they believable. If anything, many of the characters feel one dimensional and are neither likable nor relatable in any aspect.

For instance, our main characters Kate and Rupert are happily married with a daughter and when the ‘Divorce Law’ kicks into gear, Kate is determined to fight the system and have her marriage be the exception, exempt from the rule because the two are still very much in love. But throughout the show, it doesn’t feel like much of a fight. If anything, the people who paraded around Melbourne against wearing masks and Premier Dan Andrews during our Covid era not so long ago made more noise, and none of them were even in love.

Kate, who is apparently a good university professor, is also somehow severely unprepared in the court room. She has no lawyer, there is no evidence to provide, no witnesses to help her cause (despite sitting in the room behind her), her husband just feels like a passenger in the whole thing, and it makes no sense.

Evidence that could have been sourced are photos and video footage of their long-term relationship and marriage using the already provided projectors that are used throughout the show (I thought this would be the case but it wasn’t), and the witnesses could have been their friends and family members literally sitting in that very court room that could easily attest to their love. But the show utilises none of that and doesn’t even consider these options, hoping that the audience won’t know any better (we do), inferring that love makes us stupid and unprepared. It does not.

Above is only an example of one of the many plot holes in this production and at no point did I even feel like cheering the characters on. I was never angry for them, never upset for them, I was just tired. There were many opportunities for sincere, emotional, and compelling moments that could have moved audiences. However, these are fleeting and were taken away in seconds before I could even absorb them, stolen by the show’s unnecessary exposition. I dare say, it’s puzzlingly and almost self-sabotage, and because of this, I never felt part of Kate’s fight either.

It should be Kate and Rupert’s fight. After all, it takes two to make a marriage, but it just feels like Kate is swinging the bat all alone. It’s so frustrating because the show has promise with a very talented cast and good music.

‘Caffeinated Conversations’ is a delightfully catchy number with clever choreography and I am surprised that this hasn’t been bottled up and sold to advertising because it’s a genius little gem. ‘Hit the Bottle’ is silly fun and is executed masterfully by Cristina D’Agostino, Leah Zilberman, and Alexia Brinsley as Betty, Leah, and Maria, respectively. ‘No Singleton Blues’ is also sassy and dynamic, perfectly showcasing Brinsley and Zilberman’s booming voices. I also enjoyed ‘Sonnet 166’, a sublime a capella number that is a gift for the ears.

Real life power couple, Christie Whelan Browne and Rohan Browne have natural chemistry. Not once did I see them as themselves. They were solid as Kate and Rupert. Unfortunately, the show doesn’t give their characters’ relationship much time to develop in a way that will stir audiences to care for either of them.

Lauren Gunson is impressive as Kate and Rupert’s daughter, Ella. Gunson has an incredible voice and stage presence, but her character is plagued by vocabulary that wouldn’t come out of a teenager in 2023. Alexia Brinsley has mutant lungs (this is a good thing) and an infectious charisma to boot, inflicting the perfect combination of charm and sass into her otherwise dimension lacking character Maria, Kate’s sister.

Supporting characters played by Cristina D’Agostino, Leah Zilberman, Alec Gilbert, and Matthew Hamilton also impress and the cast do the best with what they are given. Matt Heyward’s character Anthony is intentionally unlikable and wears it with pride. While Dinesh Mathew shines in his few flashes on stage as Lance, the token gay high school best friend of Kate’s, and is blatantly the only queer character of the story.

Not Finished With You Yet! does have its gems, but it is bogged down with too many words just for the sake of it, like the listing of multiple lubricant brand names which is not needed at all. Its plot also has more holes in it than Swiss cheese. With some work, these holes can be filled. At present, Not Finished With You Yet! feels very dated with its humour and lacks believability, relatability, vulnerability, and heart. The conclusion doesn’t even feel like one. Do people really attend that many high school reunions these days? I don’t think so.

The musical does show promise with its unique charm, its song numbers, and the cast do as much as they can to make the show shine. But Not Finished With You Yet! is exactly that – not finished.

Not Finished With You Yet! is now playing at Alex Theatre in St Kilda, and will join the line-up of the 2023 Melbourne International Comedy Festival until Sunday the 16th of April.
For more information and ticketing, visit:

Photography by Simon Kosmer.

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