I'm a writer with a love of young adult novels, musical theatre and vegetarian food.
Tea Tree Players Theatre knows a good farce
Waking up to a naked woman and 50K in the fridge sounds like a dream, but Carter is hazy on the details. With his family visiting, he tries to clean up the mess from his divorced party while the greed and lies keep building.
Carter (Kieran Drost) lies asleep on a couch clutching a beer and draped in a pink feather boa. Photos courtesy of venue.
Tea Tree Players Theatre presents According to Rumour a comedy by Robert Scott. Directed by Lachlan Blackwell, this farce makes you question every character's motives as they flip from family obligation and romance to greed and desire.
Kieran Drost, as the lead character Carter, has an unconventional morning trying to get rid of unknown partygoer Kitty Kat—played by Kristyn Barnes. Drost and Barnes are a charming fitting to their characters; the nerdy Carter, anxious and confused about the situation he's in, in contrast to the cool and flirty Kitty Kat. There is a lot of exposition in the play but their separate monologues, catching up characters on plot points, doesn't miss a beat. While the pair don't build a strong chemistry together, Drost does have great chemistry with his likeable friend Roger, played by the endearing Kyle McCarthy.
When a large bag of money turns up in the fridge, Carter's attempts to hide it are discovered by a nosey mailwoman. Carolina Fioravanti, as the mailwoman commits, to the ridiculous physical comedy as she's hit, shoved and dragged around the stage. When she's upright long enough to speak, her lines are exaggerated hysterically. Throughout the play, a few of the physical comedic moments are given away by the cast before they happen, while others have real punch that catch the audience off guard.
Mailwoman Ashley (Carolina Fioravanti) and Carter (Kieran Drost) fight and pull on opposite sides of fridge door. Photo courtesy of venue.
Carter's family entering further complicates his predicament. His sister Emma, played by the pleasant Keyarra Maur, is sweeter to her brother than most siblings, while her life is on the up and his isn't. Theresa (Lilly) Dolman was believable as mum Harriet, who loves her kids to the point she judges every choice they make. Although some types of British accents don't match up between family members.
Emma (Keyarra Maur), Logan (Clinton Nitschk), Maxine/Martine (Madison Hart) and Carter (Kieran Drost ) looked shocked. Photo courtesy of venue.
The absurd twins Maxine and Martine, played by Madison Hart, were at first hard to believe as different characters, but Madison's comedic timing and exasperated expressions help the audience lean into the charade.
Carter's bachelor pad is criticised by characters for its small size, but what divorcee in debt can afford a four-bedroom flat? Still, the set with its few decorations and a bare kitchen is believable for a man trying to move on from his marriage. Set design and construction by the director, Samuel Creighton, Graham Johns, Mike Phillips and cast. Lighting and sound help ground the setting around the characters.
On opening night, there were a few fumbles at the beginning of the play but any tension eases as the pacing picked up in the second act. Emma's partner Logan, played by Clinton Nitschke, has a noticeable gap early on but he becomes more comfortable with his role later. The timing and energy are likely to grow as the show continues its season.
Join the Tea Tree Players Theatre for a twisting, turning production of According to Rumour. Hurry there are few seats left!
The cast of According to Rumour (L-R): (top) Carolina Fioravanti, Keyarra Maur, Clinton Nitschke, Madison Hart, Theresa (Lilly) Dolman, (bottom) Kieran Drost, Kristyn Barnes, and Kyle McCarthy. Photos courtesy of venue.