The King – Red Phoenix Theatre

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Director Adrian Barnes need not be concerned. His presentation of “The King” has not compromised the Red Phoenix reputation. Far from it. His excellent cast of three confidently strut their way across the stage in this delightful comic romp delivered with great timing and well measured pace.

Hank, a super smarmy Michael Eustace is the epitome of the salesperson we would all choose to avoid. Once he hooks onto his target and launches his spiel any opposition is pointless. He feeds on any opposing argument and is relentless in his cajolery and use of emasculation imagery in the sales web he weaves.

Browser and potential customer Roger (Nigel Tripodi) attempts to avoid being ensnared, and for a while, withstands Hank’s constant pressure but to no avail. He takes ownership of the king of kettle barbecues, a red monstrosity that seems to do everything but make coffee and forecast the weather! Then he takes it home.

The second half of this one act play focuses on Roger’s relationship with his wife Melissa played with supreme guile by Sharon Malujlo. Their domestic scene unfolds to the absolute delight of an understanding audience.

The involvement with and enjoyment of the Jimmy Lyons script by the three performers is palpable. Acting honours are evenly divided throughout. Singers Pat Wilson and Adrian Barnes present original befitting ballads and all things technical run with smooth efficiency. The Arch theatre within the Holden Street Theatres complex provides a pleasing performance ambience and the audience response reflected universal satisfaction with this brief but highly entertaining gem.

The King
Red Phoenix Theatre
Holden Street Theatres
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