Noarlunga Theatre Company
Port Noarlunga Arts Centre
Until 09 Nov 2019

Review by Anthony Vawser

Farce is a fiendishly tricky form of theatre to get ‘just right’ on stage. The string of deceptions, misunderstandings, complications, and choreography that inevitably ensue in these productions need a really top-quality team, all working in tandem, at a peak level of precision, and with clockwork timing, in order for a farce to really succeed.

“Cash on Delivery” is such a supremely silly and old-fashioned example of farcical comedy, one is surprised to learn that it premiered less than thirty years ago – but Noarlunga Theatre Company’s production demonstrates that Michael Cooney’s script is a real winner that, in the right hands, can provide the basis for a rollicking good time in the theatre. Happily, NTC – and director Jerry Zimmer – have what it takes to bring this show to hilarious life.

Nathanael Bayliss is required to carry the weight and complexity of “Cash on Delivery” in the central role of government benefits swindler Eric Swan, and he’s sensational! Electric in his responsiveness to all the chaos that his character has (directly or indirectly) created, and virtually unstoppable in his efforts to sustain a mind-boggling web of mad deceptions, Bayliss is certainly something to see.

Operating delightfully in support of Swan is the slightly-less-sharp, but unfailingly sweet-natured, Norman McDonald, given an excellent portrayal by Daniel Steele. The eight performers surrounding these two all bring their own intriguing personality and unique style to the characters who each play a vital piece of this crazy comedic jigsaw.

Set design is perhaps basic to a fault, but this is not something that should bother any spectator in the least when they’re being provided with so much liberating laughter. Costumes do their useful bit in splashing colour into the proceedings, while sound and lighting offer capable contributions when needed.

The staunchest proponents of political correctness should probably look elsewhere, but for the rest of us, “Cash on Delivery” should leave you giddy, grateful, and more than glad you came.