Tea Tree Players
Tea Tree Players Theatre
Until 01 Sep 2018

Review by Brian Godfrey

Tea Tree Players love to entertain the theatre-going public and they usually do it fairly well. Their latest production, Fred Carmichael’s “Out of Sight…Out of Murder!”, is no exception – and is even a cut above their usual good standard.

Carmichael’s comedy/thriller is also a cut above the ordinary employing a nice little fantasy twist. An author suffering from ‘writer’s block’ ends up being helped(?) by stock-standard murder mystery characters who have jumped off the page and out from his brain. They are all here: the butler; the femme fatale; the maid (who is more than likely pregnant and will probably get killed because she knows too much); the old biddy spinster; the beautiful, sweet ingénue; the dashing eager young hero (who may or may not be a cad); and, of course, the obligatory lawyer who must read the obligatory will at the obligatory time, Midnight!

This kind of play is usually fairly wordy and can drag causing an audience to drift off – but thanks to Director Theresa (Lilly) Dolman’s experienced hand, that is not the case here. She moves the actors through her extremely atmospheric set with natural ease – not too much and certainly not too little movement from all. Dolman also understands comedy and what works well to get the required laugh.

The cast are a mixture of stage newcomers and experienced regulars and all mesh beautifully to present a very solid production. As the author, it is hard to believe that Reece Attwood is a newbie, so smooth and natural is his performance: nothing stilted nor wooden about his performance (and he has the perfect name for an actor). Another newbie who impresses is young Tom Gaffney as dashing Dick Stanton (you’ve gotta love that name!): he has the young matinee idol down pat.

Tina Hall gives her usual high standard of performance, no matter what colour she is wearing; Stacey Webb proves once again that she is a wonderful character actor, not so great at knitting though; Susie Daniels has the best Southern accent since “Gone With The Wind”; Ainsley Goulding cries us a river as the very flappable maid; and Stacey Murray is stunningly superb as the ‘oh so’ English (and dramatic) damsel in distress (probably).

Damon Hill and Nick Hargreaves round out the great cast with their usual fine aplomb.

I’d urge you to rush along to see this fun production, but its season is sold out. Another feel-good production from the very feel-good Tea Tree Players.