Presented by Tea Tree Players
Reviewed 6 February 2020
The play starts in 1980, but is really set in the 1920’s with mostly authentic props by Beth Venning and Jo Allenby’s lovely costumes on a set where everything opens and shuts! With a large cast all the entrances and exits must have been demanding, but the stage rarely looks crowded. The action is filled with all the elements required for a murder mystery, with a lot of comedy thrown in. We have a deserted mansion, on an isolated island, in a storm, where a group of suspicious characters are meeting for the midnight reading of a will!
The two sleuths unravelling the mystery (or trying to) are Ernestine Wintergreen (Lesley Main) and Hannibal Hix (Rick Mills). These are inexperienced detectives being played by very experienced actors and they work well together. Chris Galipo has immense fun playing the strange housekeeper and Harrison Morris plays the butler like he just arrived from a horror movie. The possible heiress and her husband are played by the excellent Tina Hall and Tim Cousins, whilst the lawyer is characterised well by Adrian Heness. The young cousin Sally (in need of protection) is Annika Barry and her would-be champions, Carter Forstman and Jack Regent, are played with all suitable 20’s chivalry by Lachlan Blackwell and Daniel Toy.
The 80’s characters in the beginning are played by the crew, Kaila Barton and Steven Brown, a neat way to solve the problem of extra cast! They did well as cast and crew along with Lesley Brittan on lights and sound. As well as directing this production Theresa Dolman was responsible for set design, constructed with the help of Samuel Creighton, Tony Bowen, Rob Andrews and Mike Phillips with scenic art by Damon Hill.
You think the mystery is predictable, but it has more twists than several corkscrews, a plethora of comic lines and is laced with fun. Too good to miss.
Reviewed by Fran Edwards
Tree Players Theatre
Season: 5 – 22 Feb 2020
Duration: 2.5 hr
Tickets: $15 – $17
Bookings: Tea Tree Players Box Office (messaging service 24/7): 82895266
Box Office opening hours: 10am til 1pm Tuesdays and Thursdays
Tea Tree Players website: www.teatreeplayers.com