Presented by Tea Tree Players
Reviewed: October 13th 2021
It’s always fun to attend a Tea Tree Players performance. They know their market and the always apt choice of play is guaranteed to please its band of ardent followers.
According to Rumour, their latest offering written by Robert Scott and directed by Lachlan Blackwell is a crowd pleaser with everything! And what do you give the play with everything? Penicillin!
We have a recent divorcee Carter (played with great flair and energy by Keiren Drost) who wakes up after a party to celebrate his divorce with no memory of the night before, to find a woman wearing his dressing gown, (Kitty Kat played with playful and artful expertise by Kristyn Barnes) and nothing underneath it, elaborating on the events of the night before with just the right amount of innuendo. And that’s just the opening ten minutes!
This play is a romp: we have divorcee, Carter, hung over and freaked out, trying to clean up in time for an unexpected visit from his mother, Harriet, expertly played by Theresa (Lily) Dolman, who is assisted by two very strange twin helpers Maxine and Martine played against each other with great effect by Madi Hart, who whilst visiting to console Carter after his recent divorce, we’re talking about Harriet again, is tricked into trying to downplay her cougar tendencies when, through a little misunderstanding, she tries to secure a little quality time with Roger (Kyle McCarthy) Carter’s best friend who is in love with Carter’s sister Emma (Keyarra Maur) who is engaged to Logan (Clinton Nitschke) the suave detective who is really Kitty’s brother and partner in crime, who all descend on poor Carter as he tries to piece together the events of the night before and find out where the fifty grand he found in a plastic bag in his fridge came from – and where it ends up. Not to mention the eye to the main chance Postie (Carolina Fioravanti) who kept trying to change sides with great flair and excellent physical comic timing in spite of several memory lapses brought on by some accidental collisions with the furniture! Honestly, it’s that complicated and that funny!
The first half started a little slowly as the cast tried to find their feet. It’s not only difficult to rehearse with Covid restrictions, masks also reduce the amount of audible audience laughter for a cast to feed off which makes or breaks a performance of high energy, high velocity farce. The first act suffered from a combination of obvious first night nerves, lack of pace and flow and audience feedback. All the energy was there but there were gaps you could have driven a truck through. If the audience doesn’t respond then you need to fill the gaps. It’s the good old listen and respond trick.
Act 2 really lifted its game and the pickup of energy drove the play forward with pace, energy and great comic effect. This is a very funny play with a very capable and talented cast, an obviously cluey director (Lachlan Blackwell) in need of some courage and commitment to the task of enjoying itself. It will, I predict grow into its paws as the cast let go and just have a damned good time.
It is good to see Tea Tree Players back on its feet and opening up to an almost sold out season. Yep, the show is almost sold out. If you sell your grandmother, rob a bank or just hold the box office to ransom you might be able to secure a ticket and you will have a very good night in the theatre that sits entirely within the bounds of this very funny play.
Great sets and costumes, sensitive lighting and some punchy music really helped bring the show to life – now go out there and have a really good time.
Reviewed by Adrian Barnes
Venue: Tea Tree Players Theatre
Cnr Yatala Vale Road and Hancock Road, Surrey Downs, 5126
Season: Wednesday 13th October to Saturday 16th October at 8.00pm Tuesday 19th October to Saturday 23rd October at 8.00pm Matinee each Saturday at 2.30pm Additional matinee Sunday 17th October at 2.30pm
Duration: Approx 2 hours 30 minutes.
Tickets: $17.00 Conc: 15.00