Tea Tree Players
Tea Tree Players Theatre
Until 08 Apr 2017

Review by Paige Mulholland

Although Adelaide can feel like a ghost town after festival season, the audience for "Laying the Ghost" on 29 March was anything but ghostly. Performing to a full, enthusiastic house, the Tea Tree Players presented a show that is fun to watch, aesthetic to look at and a continuation of their tradition of unpretentious, enjoyable theatre.

"Laying the Ghost" follows Margot, a former starlet living out her days in a home for retired actors, Leo, Margot's unfaithful but beloved ex-husband, Leo's current wife Judy, and Sadie, Leo's latest dalliance. When these women are put in the same room, things get tense; so tense, in fact, that Leo dies of a heart attack and becomes a ghost. Can he help these women to put their demons to rest, and maybe put himself to rest while he's at it?

The script won't be winning any Tonys any time soon, but is fast paced and interesting enough to keep the audience watching and laughing along. The script, along with the performers, improves as the show goes on, gradually transitioning from awkward to fun and easy viewing.

The cast seemed to struggle with the accents to varying degrees, with Katherine Silbereisen's accent standing out as the strongest of the bunch and the rest of the group grappling with their British lilts. However in true Tea Tree Players style, the group were very well rehearsed, with very few stumbled and excellent slapstick timing. Kristyn Barnes is doe eyed and innocent as the young Sadie, Chris Galipo plays the quirky Freda Deacon with an excellent sense of humour, Fiona Stopp is able to easily protest Margot's contradictory feelings towards her ex husband (although there is not a much chemistry between the two as there could be) and Timothy Cousins carries himself as Leo with all the ego and charm one would expect from a celebrity silver fox. Most importantly for any comedy, it was obvious that the cast were enjoying themselves and sharing this enjoyment with the audience.

Also in typical Tea Tree Players style, the set and costumes were of an excellent quality with a high level of attention to detail, if a little dated; although the play is meant to take place in 2001, the costumes felt more suited to the early 90s.

Fans of the Tea Tree Players' past offerings will not be let down with this one - it's true community theatre; simple, appealing, and made with love.