Reviewed Janice Bailey
This was my first venture out to the Tea Tree Players venue, which turned out to be a very inviting, delightful little theatre. The Tea Tree Players clearly have a well-earned loyal following and there wasn’t a spare seat in the house for the opening night of My Fat Friend, a comedy by Charles Laurence.
Vicky, the main character, is the ‘fat friend’. She runs a bookshop which is attached to her home. Her ‘roomies’ are James, a Scottish young man who ‘runs’ the household and has ambitions of becoming a novelist and Henry, her gay ‘best friend’ with an ascerbic tongue, who keeps reminding Vicki that she needs to lose weight. Enter a handsome customer who is attracted to Vicki but must leave the day after they get together to travel overseas. He is due to return at Christmas and this becomes the goal for Vicki to lose weight.
As soon as the curtain comes up, the very 70’s psychedelic set cannot be missed! Director Damon Hill has created an intricate and colourful set which shows attention to detail and this is also apparent in his direction of the talented cast. Michaela Phillips creates a Vicki who has warmth and strength, in spite of her insecurities which have resulted in her weight gain. We care about her journey to weight loss and the expected romance which has prompted her journey.
Michael Pomery as James gives a solid performance as the nervous, fastidious Scottish room-mate. Leighton Vogt as Tom, although in a minor role, makes his mark. The highlight of the show is Sam Creighton’s Henry. He gets the most laughs with his mincing and prancing and cutting wit. There is, of course, a twist.
You will need to make the trip up north to see what that is!