If you have ever had a dinner party from hell then this will bring back memories of how bad it could have been. The script allows for many situations which range from slapstick to semi dramatic and everything in between. These are taken full advantage of by the cast.
Julie-Ann played by Nicole Walker portrayed the nervous young lady who is trying to arrange for a ‘meet the parents’ dinner party along with her boyfriend Justin, played by Nick Endenburg. The scenario with the missing fork was just one example of the ability of Nicole to show her polished acting aptitude. Nick was the perfect foil as the boyfriend who is not altogether happy with the way things are going and is not looking forward to giving a speech to announce their engagement. The interaction developed between these two left the audience with no doubt as to what was about to unfold.
The entrance of Paige played by Kaila Barton was a highlight. Her dishevelled costume after falling from the top apartment and landing on the balcony was an extraordinary piece of theatre. The rough around the edges character had everyone else somewhat confused as to who she is and why she is there. Her claim to fame as a dancer and the impromptu dance routine were delightfully presented. This situation became a little clearer when Micky played by Tim Cousins, came knocking on the door looking for her. If ever there is a perfect role made for him then this is it. His performance as a gun toting slightly thick minder showed his experience from many years of performing on stage.
Julie-Ann’s parents arrive at the apartment with gusto and enthusiasm from her prim and proper Mother Dee played by Gigi Jeffers and her bigoted Yorkshire Father Derek played by John Hudson who insists on telling infantile jokes that keep Dee in fits of laughter. He has a plan to entice his future son in law away from his much loved IT job to his gardening business, as his other offspring he would rather not talk about especially the one who married a man of colour.
The mayhem really starts to build when Justin’s Mother played by Theresa (Lilly) Dolman arrives on the scene a little inebriated and after being in a car accident. She immediately confuses Paige with Julie-Ann with misconstrued other names and events.
The Director Robert Andrews has managed to assemble a cast that suits the roles in the play and brought out the best in them. The action takes place in an apartment in London. The set is excellent and cleverly done with an outside balcony onto which Paige falls. Lighting and sound effects are simple and effective with lightning and rain.
If anybody is planning a dinner party, I would suggest they must see this play so they will know what not to do. If anybody wants to see a play to remember they should see this very entertaining Tea Tree Players production.