Tea Tree Players
Tea Tree Players Theatre
Until 24 Apr 2021

Review by Janice Bailey

The Tea Tree Players have an excellent reputation for producing high quality comedy shows – their current offering, ‘Happy Birthday ‘, written by Marc Camoletti, with excellent direction by Sam Creighton, is no exception. It is comedy, at times crossing into farce – which, even though there are plots and counter plots intertwined, never creates the impression that the actors are out of control.

The whole of the action takes place over a weekend at the English country retreat of Bernard and Jacqueline Langford, mid-summer in the late 1980s. Sam Creighton’s cleverly designed set allows for the many comings and goings of the characters.

There is a mistress called Brigit, a temporary maid (also named Brigit), a husband, a wife, and a best friend who is also having an affair with the best friend’s wife. Perfect elements for a riotous comedy. Each of the actors plays their role with finesse and stability – there cannot be a weak link with a small cast and there isn’t. Chanelle Le Roux plays the role of the wife extremely well with just the right mixture of deceptiveness and charm; Adrian Heness as the ‘wronged’ husband is well cast; Kieran Drost gives an excellent performance as the wife’s ‘lover’ and Alicia Foster as Brigit (the mistress) looks the part and plays her role very well. Selena Carr gives an exceptional and hilarious performance as Brigit (the maid).

The essential elements of lighting and sound are expertly provided by Robert Andrews and Mike Phillips. The costumes by Jo Allenby and the Monday Club, Hair and Makeup consultant, Lisa Wilton and Beth Venning’s props all help to create the background for a very well executed and entertaining play. Well worth the trip!