Reviewed by Wendy Mildren
Therry served up a fluffy concoction entitled Death by Chocolate, written by Paul Freed and directed by Ian Rigney.
The action takes place in the office of Meadowbrook Health Resort on the eve of the grand reopening after the founder of the resort, Henry Meadowbrook, supposedly committed suicide. Lady Riverdale (Angela Short) who has made her fortune by establishing a chocolate factory, is the new owner of the resort and has appointed John Stone (Peter Smith) as the new Director. His slogan for the resort is “get fit or die trying”, and unfortunately this slogan quickly becomes a reality, when staff members started dropping.
Smith is excellent in his role, complete with a 60’s grey wig. His comic timing is right on the mark and considering he was on stage all the time, his dialogue was faultless. Short played her part well and as the action continued the audience discovered she has previously been an exotic bubble dancer – a bit of a stretch of the imagination! Jess Rossiter who played the secretary, Dyslexia, looked and acted the part. Sue Wylie as the famous chef, Edith Chiles, was right over the top but got a good laugh from the audience. Another over the top character who played the limp wristed aerobics instructor, Dick Simmering, to the hilt, was Chris Meegan who was resplendent in lime green singlet and yellow shorts with matching socks!
A real scene stealer was Sweet Pea Meadowbrook, played by Tamara Bennetts the supposed daughter of the slaughtered Henry Meadowbrook. She was splendid in a fat suit continuously stuffing her face with marshmellows. Others in the cast were Tom Carney who played the long suffering Alfred Mellox, Stanley Tuck who played the devious, athletic Ralph Deadwood, Jan Cook who played the supposed reporter for Elite Magazine, but was in fact an undercover detective, Margaret Daniels, Andrea Carr who played the full bosomed nurse (who didn’t like blood), Anne, and last but not least Mason Willis who played Ed Parlor the mystery writer. All these members of the cast were excellent.
The set and lighting looked effective and worked well. Rigney did a good job of blocking as the large cast moved easily around the stage.