SHADY BUSINESS – Galleon Theatre Group

SHADY BUSINESS – Galleon Theatre Group

Reviewed by Kerry Edwards

October 2010

Playwright Robin Hawdon, best known for the West End success The Mating Game, finds the funny side with this 2004 British comedy.

Two girls, two guys, a crime boss, a couple of thugs, an affair, mistaken identities and missing money all make for crazy fun. Not quite a farce but close.

Director Warren McKenzie did a great job keeping the pace moving, which is essential for this type of production. The blocking made the best use of the stage and the well designed set by Steve Kelly. Lighting design by Ray Trowbridge and operation by Kerry Cooper was spot on. Sound design and operation by Sean Smith was very good with an excellent choice of music, especially for interval. Costuming by Andrew Clark, Elizabeth Topperwein and cast was nice.

Olivia Eblen was impressive as the crime bossís girlfriend Mandy, considering this was her stage debut. She handled her few long and fast passages of dialogue with ease and great style much to the pleasure of the audience, who applauded each time. Well done Olivia and good luck in future roles! Gary Harrison was outstanding as Mandyís boyfriend and crime boss Big Mack and he really looked the part. As did Stephen Small as his side-kick Dozer who had a relatively easy role of standing tall and still in the background. However the few lines he had were delivered well. Sharon Pitardi was very good as Mandy’s friend and dancer Tania.† Anthony Clapp had a big task playing the single role of Mandy’s lover Gerry, Taniaís boyfriend Larry and dressing in drag as Laura. He handled this well considering the many consume changes but he wasnít quite convincing as Mandy’s lover and his laugh was creepy rather than sexy. Malcolm Walton was convincingly creepy as loan shark Harry the Hammer. Luke Budgenís role as unlikeable lad-about-town Terry would have been difficult to play without overacting. He didn’t quite achieve this in the first half but got there after interval.


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