Presented by Independent Theatre
Reviewed 26 April 2019
In true Hammett style the production opens dark and mysterious; the design by director Rob Croser and David Roach is en point. Costumes were definitely reminiscent of the 20’s and the sets worked well with flowing changes that allowed the story to keep moving.
Patrick Marlin does well as Sam Spade, although I would have expected him to be a little more dishevelled. He develops into the character during the production, but I acknowledge that such an iconic character immortalised by such as Humphrey Bogart is quite a challenge. Madeleine Herd steps into the Mary Astor role with ease, again showing her depth of talent. Emma Bleby and Ashley Merriel manage to be just right for the characters and era.
David Roach and John Oster both play various roles making the audience look twice as they adapt to their differing characters. Both play four roles and succeed in establishing each as separate. Stuart Pearce is suave and the a-typical gangster as Casper Gutman with Andre Vafiadis as Joel Cairo and Will Cox as Wilmer Cook, Gutman’s associates. Vafiadis does a fair imitation of Peter Lorre, if a little over excited. This is a different type of role for Cox, playing a ‘heavy’ but he carries it off.
The strong direction by Rob Croser and Bob Weatherley’s lighting design make this feel as though it belongs in the era. Another well presented drama from Independent Theatre that you should go to see!
Reviewed by Fran Edwards
Venue: Goodwood Theatre, 166a Goodwood Road
Season: 26 April – 4 May 2019
Duration: 2 hr 45mins
Tickets: $20 – $37.50
Bookings: For show times and to book your tickets head to: Trybooking