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Cash On Delivery at Melville Theatre

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Bank on laughs in frenetic farce at Melville Theatre
Cash on Delivery, Melville Theatre, play, comedy, farce, performing arts, humour, laughs, stage
Eric (Peter Neaves, left) and Norman (Peter Bloor, right) tries to dispose of Uncle Bob's body (Bob Charteris) in Cash On Delivery.


Mistaken identities, slamming doors and a con that spirals out of control are all taking place at Melville Theatre this September. They're all part of the fast-paced British comedy Cash On Delivery, written by Michael Cooney and directed by Georgina Kling.

The story follows a con artist who has duped welfare authorities for years by claiming benefits for the plethora of people he claims live at his address. But he's sent scrambling when welfare investigators show up and is forced to prove all his boarders are real.

Cash on Delivery, Melville Theatre, play, comedy, farce, performing arts, humour, laughs, stage
Cash On Delivery features Lis Hoffmann, left, as Ms Cowper and Michael Dornan as George.

"I've seen Cash on Delivery done a few times in the UK and always felt the audience truly enjoyed it," Georgina said. "I love hearing an audience relax, sit back and laugh freely and that's exactly what a farce allows you to do.

No matter how many times I've seen the show or read the script, this play always makes me laugh. This is my first time directing in Perth so I felt this script would be a good place to start."

Cash on Delivery, Melville Theatre, play, comedy, farce, performing arts, humour, laughs, stage
Director Georgina Kling, right, with some of the cast of Cash On Delivery: Peter Neaves, Michael Dornan, Pip Tompson, Peter Bloor and Victoria Dixon.


On stage since she was young, Georgina took a break for 16 years to focus on school and university but then threw herself back into the theatre world, embracing acting, directing, choreography, costumes and other behind-the-scenes work. After moving to Perth from London three years ago, she came across an audition at Melville Theatre for Under The Blue Sky, which she appeared in.

"Belonging to a theatre group has been part of my life for as long as I can remember," Georgina said. "Back home, my entire family was involved and it's nice to be so warmly welcomed at Melville Theatre."

Cash on Delivery, Melville Theatre, play, comedy, farce, performing arts, humour, laughs, stage
Cash On Delivery provides some shock discoveries for Dr Chapman (Sharon Menzies, left) and Linda (Victoria Dixon).


The main challenge with Georgina's latest production are the logistics involved and she believes her stage manager will have the toughest job of all. "The timing and movements of each cast member need to be just perfect to create the true farce-like illusion," she said.

"This has to be paired with a very good backstage team to allow each crazy aspect to work, especially given we have a washing machine that rocks itself onto stage! But I have no doubt my amazing cast are going to make this show look easy and truly hilarious."

Cash on Delivery, Melville Theatre, play, comedy, farce, performing arts, humour, laughs, stage
Keeping abreast of things gets Eric (Peter Neaves, right) in a spot of bother with Ms Cowper (Lis Hoffmann), much to the horror of Norman (Peter Bloor, centre).


Peter Neaves plays the main role of Eric Swan. "He panics he's now going to be caught for duping welfare so has begun 'killing off' his imaginary lodgers," he said. "Unfortunately, an investigator has arrived at his home to confirm his lodger Rupert is still suffering with gout and still eligible for disability payments.

"As Rupert emigrated to Canada several years before, Eric pretends to be Rupert and all goes well until the investigator needs the landlord to witness his signature. With Eric pretending to be Rupert, he tries to get his current lodger Norman to be Eric instead but false claims have also been made in Norman's name. It gets to the point where Norman has to pretend to be his own son."

The main challenge, according to Peter, is being on stage for most of the play. "There are a lot of lines, plus I have to learn exactly when to interject with all the 'whats' and 'aaaghs!'" he said. "The play also involves a lot of physicality, such as dragging a body across the stage and stuffing it into a window box, so it will be both emotionally and physically draining."

Cash on Delivery, Melville Theatre, play, comedy, farce, performing arts, humour, laughs, stage
Cash On Delivery features Jodi Vickers, left, Peter Neaves and Pip Tompson.


First acting 10 years ago, Peter initially appeared in film and television and only embraced theatre once he emigrated to Australia in 2012. Since then, he has performed with Phoenix, Roleystone, Joondalup Encore, New City, Playlovers, Melville, Stirling, Garrick and His Majesty's Theatres in productions such as One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, Peter Pan, 'Allo 'Allo, Witness For The Prosecution and One Man, Two Guvnors, among others. Peter has also received acting awards at the Hills Festival of Theatre and Dramafest, the annual state drama festival.

"I have always enjoyed comedy, and upon reading the Cash On Delivery, could imagine myself as the confused, panicking Eric," he said. "Recently, I've played somewhat similar lead roles in other comedies so I wanted to go out with a bang.

Cash on Delivery, Melville Theatre, play, comedy, farce, performing arts, humour, laughs, stage
Michael Dornan plumbs the depths in Cash On Delivery.

"This is my 11th theatrical production in a row with no break in between my rehearsals have often started while I'm in the previous show. Now is the time to take a break and this play seemed to be the perfect way to end an amazing couple of years."

Cash On Delivery plays at 8pm September 14, 15, 20, 21, 22, 27, 28 and 29 with a 2pm matinee September 23. Tickets are $20, $15 concession book on 9330 4565 or at www.meltheco.org.au. Melville Theatre is on the corner of Stock Road and Canning Highway, Palmyra.

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Why? If you like a good laugh, then this show is for you plenty of belly chuckles and guffaws as things get more and more out of control.
When: 8pm September 14, 15, 20, 21, 22, 27, 28 & 29; 2pm September 23
Phone: 9330 4565
Where: Melville Theatre, corner of Stock Road and Canning Highway, Palmyra
Cost: $20, $15 concession
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