BEDRIDDEN – Venture Theatre Company

BEDRIDDEN – Venture Theatre Company

Reviewed by Richard Lane

April 2013

The latest venture by this  Company  which creates and performs new material, is a brand new  hospital farce written by Jaye Toetu and  centred on the bed of Emma, a teenager who has broken her leg playing lacrosse.
The plot is rather thin and seems to be,”Who is Patient 217 rampaging around the hospital and appearing to threaten the lives of other patients doctors and nurses?”
In between ,the piece is filled with a series of one liners and cheap jokes, most of which are crude, distasteful and not very funny. Surely  modern audiences are over gags about “hairy cracks,”  and similar little gems. This critic certainly is.
The main set is simple and quite effective,though  perhaps a little unbalanced.  Much of the action centres around Emma’s bed and maybe it would have worked better if it was a little more down centre to bring  the action  closer to the audience.
The lighting and sound effects by Al Toetu were very effective .
The playwright was also the director and  despite the play’s failings  the pace was a cracker, which all farces should be.  To his credit, the young cast threw themselves into their roles with great energy, sometimes to the detriment of clear diction.
Those who did well were, Shelley Carmen as Nikki (the nurse from hell), Luke Wagner as Eric, Christie Molloy as Emma, Cherie Murdoch as Layla,  Michael Coumi as Brody, and Kyle Hopgood as Patient 217. 

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