Review by Dave Smith
The prolific Tea Tree Players added to their solid record with this murder mystery, directed by Selena Carr and presented to an appreciative full house on opening night in the intimate Tea Tree Players Theatre.
The director put the tidy box set to good use, with occasional informative projections on the downstage screen, and a handy upstage entrance to the secret passage.
The balanced cast carried the narrative line with pace and gusto. Although some of the accents were a little uneven, the characters were well defined. The inevitable surprises and Christie-like turns in the story had the desired impact and were generally well handled by the whole ensemble.
Rick Mills as Willy the wheelchair-bound football veteran, used his voice and carriage well, and provided a sound base for much of the action. It was his first stage role and he performed with poise and easy confidence. Sophie Gardner and Heather Riley worked convincingly together as the contrasting sisters Henri and Valerie, while Adrian Heness used his considerable height and presence in making a good fist of his role as the rather unpleasant Elwood. Benjamin Orchard and Gabbie Brown had their striking moments as Charles the host of the murder mystery action and McKenzie, Elwood’s harassed partner.
Although the script didn’t extend the cast to a great extent, it provided a comfortable vehicle for the company. It was the fourth of an intended six productions this year for this active community theatre group. Full credit to the Players for their continuing contribution.