BIRTHDAY SUITE – Noarlunga Theatre Co

BIRTHDAY SUITE – Noarlunga Theatre Co

Reviewed by Wendy Mildren

November 2012

The latest production from Noarlunga Theatre Company was a rollicking good comedy of errors Birthday Suite written by Robin Hawdon and directed by Kym Clayton.

The action takes place in two hotel rooms with a connecting door in a medium class hotel. ‘Bob’ (Luke Budgen) is having a marriage breakdown and his friend has tried to play matchmaker by setting Bob up in a hotel room and saying that a call girl named Mimi will give him the night of his life, when in fact it was to be ‘Liz’ (Emma Gordon-Smith) Bob’s wife. In the next room ‘Kate’ (Mari Nield) has gone on line and has been matched up with ‘Dick’ (Terry Crowe), a nervous psychiatrist and she is waiting to have dinner with him in the private room. Overseeing both rooms is the waiter ‘Tony’ (Tom Kress) and mayhem occurs when people start moving in and out of the connecting door.

Budgen played his part of the inept civil servant to the hilt. His comedic timing is right on the money and he played his part straight which, of course, garnered all the laughs. Nield was marvellous as the nervous cat loving lonely heart. She was believable and looked the part. Crowe as the bashful psychiatrist was very good and his nervous laugh always got a laugh from the audience. Gordon-Smith who was in fact Bob’s wife but who inadvertently got matched up with Dick was great, especially when she came on as gum popping ‘Mimi’. However, the scene stealer was Kress who played the waiter and observer of all the room and couple swapping. As the action warmed up Kress played the confused on-looker extremely well.

Clayton’s excellent direction showed in the pace of the cues and the blocking in the reasonably small spaces. The set by Janet Jauncey looked authentic and worked well. The audience was most appreciative and laughed through most of the show. Well done NTC!

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