Reviewed by Ceri Horner
“I Bet Your Life” by Fred Charmichael provides a very clever concept
for a comedy. Matthew has hired a gunman to kill his best friend
Greg in a bizarre attempt to prove his idea for a screen play will
work. The intention is the killer will be revealed before any harm
comes to Greg, but a twist of events leaves them puzzling over which
one of their uninvited guests is the assassin and with no way to pull
the pin on his or her murderous plot.
Unfortunately the plot sounds more interesting than it actually is.
The opening night audience barely chuckled during Act One but were a
little more receptive in Act Two. Perhaps they prefer British farce
to American comedy? It also appeared that some of the comedy was
lost in director Mike Phillips’ interpretation.
Andrew Hawkins as the publisher Greg and Paul Zechner as his author
friend Matt work well together and are believable as best friends
that might pull outlandish pranks on one another.
Their friendship is complicated by a woman, of course. The secretary
Stacey is the object of affection and is played well by Lisa Matthews.
Plenty of energy is added by Stacey Hendy as Laura the Cook. Hendy
is completely over the top and manages to elicit a few laughs.
Wherever there is a publisher there will surely be a nutty writer or
two. Sophie Gardner excels as Gerta, who is determined to read Greg
her entire manuscript, but only when the timing is just right.
Gabe Steinhauer as the plumber and Gabbie Brown as the soapie actress
add to the action while Karen Marks and Don Stuart play the
The Tea Tree Players are known for their great sets and Mike
Phillips’ set is no exception, being practical and well designed.
Overall the cast work well but more comedy would need to be found to
make this one a winner.