Printable CopyTHE PSYCHIC
Adelaide Repertory Theatre
The Arts Theatre
Until 01 Jul 2017

Review by Anthony Vawser

If you enjoy being delightfully surprised in the theatre, get along to see ‘The Psychic’.

A young man living in present-day New York is attempting to lead a life of literary creativity while striving for a semi-regular source of income by presenting himself as a psychic; from this premise by eclectic author Sam Bobrick, director Erik Strauts delivers a fast-paced one-set comic mystery, featuring a first-rate cast.

Josh van’t Padje excels in the central/title role of Adam Webster - the archetypal, bumbling, endearing underachiever - while Anita Pipprell is in typically sharp, bright, engaging form as Laura Benson. Adam is intent on protecting Laura from the murderous impulses of her husband Roy played by James Whitrow. Whitrow manages to make Roy both exuberantly funny and a bit frightening.

James Black’s intriguingly-named Johnny Bubbles is a most entertaining and convincing old-style gangster, with great physicality and expressiveness, while Malcolm Walton’s Detective Coslow is virtually Dick Tracy resurrected, if somewhat past his prime as a policeman. Jessica McGaffin is the ideal embodiment of wannabe-flapper Rita Malone, though her admirable energy risks turning to shrillness at times.

Set design by Patrick Beagan is outstanding in its ambition and achievement, while Beverley George’s costumes are superb, sharp and spot-on . Richard Parkhill has designed a colourful and well-engineered lighting display which Jason Groves skilfully operates, while Brendan Taggart is responsible for deploying the crucial sound effects and unusual mixture of music.

This reviewer would not dream of spoiling the journey of discovery that the team behind ‘The Psychic’ have engineered for their audience – so find out for yourself what lies in store…