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Theatre Review: Key For Two

Key For Two’, written by two expert farceurs, John Chapman and Dave Freeman, is a delightful farce that holds its own with the best of them.

 

 

l to r: Theresa Dolman, Samuel Creighton, Tim Taylor, Leighton Vogt

l to r: Theresa Dolman, Samuel Creighton, Tim Taylor, Leighton Vogt

Presented by Tea Tree Players
Reviewed 19 August 2015

Key For Two, written by two expert farceurs, John Chapman and Dave Freeman, is a delightful farce that holds its own with the best of them. Although written some time ago, the play hasn’t dated nor lost any of its humour.

The story of Harriett, kept by two men, both married and neither knowing the existence of the other, and the predicaments that occur when they are both present – one having sprained his ankle – with her friend, Anne assisting in the ensuring deceptions, is basically the Women’s Lib version of a classical farce – it’s the females who have to lie, deceive and squirm their way out of a mess this time.

Tea Tree Players have always been known for producing good, fun, entertaining British comedy. However, they tried something different with their last two productions and wandered slightly off track. With Key For Two, they are gloriously back on the road to success. This is a wonderful laugh-a-minute comedy done well.

The star turn here is Theresa Dolman as Harriet. Dolman absolutely sparkles in a role that is just ideal for her zing and effervescence, and her timing and pace are excellent. Her chemistry with Stacey Webb as her best friend, Anne is absolutely wonderful. Webb also handles the comedy extremely well; with her appearance at one stage as a nursing sister an absolute hoot and very “Carry On”ish (think Hattie Jacques mixed with Barbara Windsor).

As lover number one, Gordon, Tim Taylor starts a little sluggishly, but once he warms up, he brings a nice staid quality to the role. Leighton Vogt clashes nicely against Taylor as sea-farer Alec. It’s just a shame he doesn’t do the North Country accent required for the role.

As the respective males’ wives, Michelle Hutchinson (Magda) and Nicole Efthymiou (Mildred) are great. Hutchinson channels Hyacinth Bucket (‘that’s Bouquet’) beautifully; whilst Efthymiou pulls off an excellent North Country accent and makes for a very imposing battleaxe of a wife.

Taking over the role of drunken vet Richard at very short notice, Samuel Creighton is absolutely hilarious and gives such a polished performance that one could be forgiven for thinking he had the role since Day One of rehearsals. This reviewer admits to having a soft spot for this role, having played it twice and doffs his cap to Creighton. Well done, Sir – a fine and funny performance!

Director Don Stuart has done well and gets different character traits from each and every one of his cast. Robert Andrews’ bright multi-roomed set adds to the overall presentation nicely.

It’s great to see the Players back on track, doing what they do so well – frothy, funny, highly entertaining comedy/farces. Go see it (if you can obtain a ticket).

Reviewed by Brian Godfrey
Twitter: @briangods

Venue: Tea Tree Players Theatre  cnr Yatala Vale Road & Hancock Road
Season: 19 – 29 August 2015
Duration: 2 hours
Tickets: $13.00 – $15.00
Bookings: Tea Tree Player Booking Office on 82895266
Online at the Official Tea Tree Players website

 

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