The Tea Tree Players took a bold step in presenting a locally written play by Damon Hill who also directed and it therefore was a world premiere. The plot revolves around an amateur theatre group in their first full rehearsal during the Covid period of March 2020. Any person who has ever been involved with amateur theatre can readily identify with this play. Pre reading of the programme and its clever bios gives a hint as to what to expect and immediately identifies that it will endeavour to be a comedy. This was proven to be an exceptional comedy by the reactions of the audience from the opening to the final scene.
The cast were well chosen and fitted into their roles with their acting abilities.
Tina Hall as Hortense Fingelnacker playing Agnes Possingthwaighte the nosey neighbour was believable even when in the closet and her unwanted suggestions to the director.
Chris Galipo as Carmel Walters playing Marjorie Wilkins the cheating wife used her actions when dressed in pyjamas, nightie or dress to highlight her acting ability.
Rhi Shapcott as Felicity Gossiter playing Anita Williams was hard to understand at first when performing with a mask on. This was part of the role which then allowed her to show her very humorous expressions with her eyes and gestures.
Keiren Drost as Marcos Balcock playing Conrad Baines the boyfriend in hiding made this role memorable with such events as climbing through a window with a broken leg and riding on Alex’s back.
Kristyn Barnes as Amanda Tottenfrot playing Candy Licious as a prostitute always produced her mobile phone at the wrong time much to the annoyance of the director. Her costume added to her polished performance.
Lachlan Blackwell as Daniel Garret playing Stefan LeBonq made this role with his many accents especially as a glove puppet speaking with his mouth full of a briefcase.
Frank Cwiertniak as Burkhardt Ebermann playing Frank Wilkins stole the show as the cross dressing amateur that needed cheat sheets and notes on his hands to remember his lines.
Tim Cousins as Clive Pinkerton playing the Director portrayed his frustrations with all the cast at times allowing him to use his very effective loud voice.
Kyle McCarthy as Lionel Bascomb playing Alex Williams was memorable for many actions including the use of his T shirt sleeve to use the telephone.
Theresa Dolman as Delia playing Props Lady was on and off stage more times that you could count, each time bringing much laughter from the audience with her constant interruptions and suggestions.
Sean Venning was to have played Bartholomew Davies but was unavailable due to Covid so this role was very ably covered by Damon Hill.
The props used to ensure social distancing were cleverly thought out and used. All the Production Team assisted in making this show a success with set design and construction plus sound and lighting all contributing to the required overall effect of an amateur rehearsal not quite ready for the first performance.
A masterpiece of comedy that is right for the time. Don’t miss it.