Reviewed by David Smith
With this lively script, the Tea Tree Players did what they do best and brought us a fluent, entertaining light comedy, this time with a hint of farce. Director Helen Holliday had rehearsed the cast well and presented the whole piece against a nicely detailed garden setting which she designed and which filled the modest stage without crowding it.
As is the strongly community-centred group’s practice, the cast was a blend of youth and experience, and that worked well. Chris Galipo was wonderful. She was funny, vague and ever-convincing as the apparently batty, but in fact shrewd, Freda. Katherine Silbereison played the generally unpopular Lady Buchanan with style and subtlety, no mean feat in this kind of script, where there can be a temptation to undermine the character by over-acting.
Tim Cousins managed well in the difficult, amusing role of Leo. Being alive in Act 1 and a ghost is Act 2 is challenging for that actor, along with everyone else on the stage, most of whose characters can’t see or hear him. In that they all admirably controlled their focus. Fiona Stopp grew into her character, especially in the second Act where she made a good job of her lines and gags. Hannah Doyle was a suitably no-nonsense Miss Kidd as she managed the various, often unpredictable residents of the nursing home. Krystyn Barnes, in her first senior production with the company, was natural, convincing and at ease as Sadie.
All credit to Tea Tree Players for keeping their community theatre so vibrant.
A scene from Laying the Ghost