My Wife’s Family, a live radio play on film – Tea Tree Players

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Selena Carr adapted and directed this script and turned it into a smooth-flowing and entertaining romp which took us back to the days when radio plays were the entertainment centre of many households. Consequently, the production was a piece of our social history, along with plenty of amusing, if somewhat quaintly dated dialogue.

What was a major change for this company was that this is only available online. I happened to view it on YouTube. Full credit to the Tea Tree Players for creating this production during the Covid restrictions. Like a couple of other Adelaide companies, they have made the switch in order to keep their group active, and maintain the contact with their established audience. This translation from stage to screen was particularly successful. That was mainly due to the clear direction, the radio-play nature of the piece, and the obvious skills of the technical team. Samuel Creighton’s cinematography was crisp and his editing made the transitions seamless. That was coupled with the effective sound and lighting by Mike Phillips. The sound effects were critical in this presentation of a radio play in which the cast shared the FX jobs. Fortunately they were well shot and clearly heard.

The casting was impressive. All had convincing “radio voices” and several of the cast showed admirable variety as they presented more than one character, principally Adrian Heness as the Narrator and Willie Nagg, and Rhi Shapcott as Sally Gay and Ima Nagg. Shapcott’s characters were especially well defined – one being mellow and fluent, and the other high-pitched and grating. As we can deduce from the characters’ names, the style of comedy was patently clear. The verbal gags followed suit.

Among a generally well balanced cast, others to impress were Kieran Drost as the smooth Jack Nagg, Theresa Dolman as Arabella, Hayley Mitchell as Stella Gay and Steve Weyland as Doc Knott. Damon Hill was entertaining, too, as the whining and down-trodden Noah Nagg.

The plot was typically farcical, and the whole cast managed to keep the pace and structure pretty well.

This was a successful and commendable translation of the Tea Tree Players preferred form of presentation, from stage to screen. It is well worth looking at it, in our own time and in the safety of our own homes.

My wife’s family
Tea Tree Players