Printable CopyROLEPLAY
Tea Tree Players
Tea Tree Players Theatre
Until 04 Sep 2021

Review by Ross Johnston

Last night I had the pleasure to see the Tea Tree Players production of “Roleplay” at their theatre in Tea Tree Gully. The theatre is small but intimate and all made everyone watching feel welcome. I thought the unique way they entertained the audience before the actual show by showing slides of the group’s history was very good.

Right on time the curtain opened and Wow! What an impressive set! The whole play is performed in the kitchen/living area of Justin’s flat and the set was so real you were expecting everything, sink, stove etc. to be working. Congratulations to the set designer(s) and builders.

The plot of this comedy/drama is around the two characters Julie “Call me Julie-Ann when Mommy and Daddy are here” and Justin who are having a dinner party to announce their engagement to her parents and Justin’s Mother. Suddenly Paige, a streetwise lap dancer, drops in trying to escape her abusive partner, who is a boxing promoter. To complicate matters Micky “da minder” of Paige crashes the flat looking for her. When Julie-Ann’s parents arrive, and Justin’s alcoholic Mother arrive the situation becomes “The dinner party from Hell.”

I thought all the actors portrayed their roles superbly under the directorship of Robert Andrews. The script is very funny, and the actors scored so many fits of laughter and belly laughs from the audience. Nicole Walkers as Julie-Ann made me laugh on so many occasions with her quick delivery and facial expressions. Nick Endenburg as the hapless Justin again brought smiles to my face. Kaila Burton as Paige was a delight to watch and her “rough diamond” outlook on life was so good to listen to. My only constructive comments would be that all three needed to project their voices more in some situations as my “old ears” missed a few words here and there.

Not the problem with the remaining actors. Micky played by Tim Cousins was hilariously brilliant. While his dialogue was simple his menacing presence dominated every scene he was in. Also, his facial expressions, particularly in the first half, had the audience laughing loudly. John Hudson as J-A’s bigoted father was excellent and some of his quick retorts were great. Gigi Jeffers as J-A’s prudish Mother played her part to a tee and her acting brought more laughs to our faces. Finally, Lily Dolman as Justin’s snobby alcoholic Mother “Call me Arabella” was incredibly funny. Some of her lines brought the house down particularly when she confuses Paige with J-A.

In Covid times this show is a must to see if you want a good belly laugh and your spirits lifted.