The Tea Tree Players produce another polished comedy gem that’s not to be missed.
Happy Birthday, a comedy by Marc Camoletti and adapted by Beverley Cross, takes place in the country holiday home of a well-to-do couple Bernard and Jacqueline Langford who are both involved in extra marital affairs, and it is a tangle of mistaken identity, secrets and lies.
Adrian Heness gives a commanding, funny and animated performance as Bernard whose disastrous decision to invite his mistress to stay for the weekend causes all the uproar. Chanelle Le Roux as Jacqueline is wonderful in the role of Bernard’s wife, fluctuating from beautiful hostess to haughty employer, angry wife, romantic lover and back again in the blink of an eye.
Kieran Drost has been honing his comedic talents with the Tea Tree Players for a few years and this performance as Robert, Jacqueline’s secret lover, could be his best yet. It’s all in his face and as an audience member trying to keep track of his facial expressions while watching all of the other action is a challenge but well worth it, particularly when Robert becomes the centre of attention for all of the female characters.
Then there are the two Brigits, the source of all the confusion. Alicia Foster is beautifully cast as Bernard’s secret mistress Brigit who is voluptuous, demanding and expensive to maintain and Alicia carries this off so well.
In complete contrast is the other Brigit, the temporary domestic help hired to cook and clean for the weekend. Selena Carr as this Brigit virtually steals every scene in a wonderful mix of visual and physical comedy, copious amounts of crème de menthe and the ability to be everything to everyone.
Director Samuel Creighton delivers an hilarious and fast-paced play with a cast of five very talented actors who kept the laughs coming consistently from beginning to end. Everything about this production is of high standard. The set is attractive and substantial. For a farce that requires a lot of entrances and exits and door slamming, it must have been built by master builders!
Congratulations to the whole production crew and front of house team. It was a wonderful to be able to return to the Tea Tree Players Theatre at last. A special thank you to the Covid Marshalls and all the volunteers who made attending to the new Covid-safe protocols a pleasure.