Pick of the week

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Television -

The Di­vorce Mon­day, 9.30pm, ABC This is great fun. A con­tem­po­rary comic opera writ­ten es­pe­cially for tele­vi­sion, it tells the story of art critic Jed (John O’May) and Iris (Ma­rina Prior) Field­ing who are cel­e­brat­ing their di­vorce with a glit­ter­ing party at their coun­try home. She hates his ghastly jokes and self-right­eous­ness, he dis­likes her ten­dency to drink, her book club and her Re­nault. But they once had fun to­gether and it’s an af­fec­tion­ate part­ing. “Let’s give thanks for the love we shared,” Jed says. “And even greater thanks that at last it’s over,” Iris replies. “There’s some­thing so cal­lous about cel­e­brat­ing the death of love,” says their bestie, Ellen Gray (Melissa Mad­den). There’s much singing, danc­ing, wit and pas­sion in this se­ries, which runs across four con­sec­u­tive nights. Iris has a younger lover, Wil­liam (Matthew McFarlane), and her sis­ter Louise (Lisa McCune), trou­bled that she hasn’t found a man and time is run­ning out, has an eye for Jed. Apart from all this, there is the couple’s for­mer per­sonal as­sis­tant, Caro­line (Kate Miller-Hei­dke), who has got used to the good life and now owes money to two shifty char­ac­ters. They ar­rive at the man­sion seek­ing to get their money back. And that’s just the first episode. Lyn­don Ter­racini came up with the con­cept; the mu­sic is by Elena Kats-Ch­ernin and the li­bretto by Joanna Mur­ray-Smith which, to­gether with an ensem­ble cast, makes this a rich pro­duc­tion.

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