Jacq of all Trades, Master of Writing
The complications of reversing two murders
Communicating Doors is a play about reversing events through the use of time travel. Imagine if you were at the point of death but had the opportunity to reverse the bad choices you've made throughout your life. This is the case with Reece Welles, now in his seventies and on his last few breaths. He's lived in the lap of luxury, had several wives, until he had them murdered, and a successful business. His achievements however were obtained through unscrupulous means by pairing up with greedy business partner Julian. It's a complicated play with many twists and turns which may leave your head spinning as you try to catch up with what's happening.
Prostitute, Poopay is up for more than she bargained for when she's booked to service the dying Welles and ends up burdened with the secrets of a dying man. In an attempt to escape the villainous Julian she hides in the cupboard and finds herself travelling through time. When the initial confusion dissipates, she realises she's in the extraordinary position of being able to reverse the murders of Welles's wives if she can somehow manage to escape Julian who is hot on her heels.
The set was masterfully crafted and very impressive with a rotating time travelling cupboard, balcony with opening windows and a magnificent backdrop. A bathroom suite with bathtub, bidet (which served a very useful purpose), and hand basin, all with running water was in view to one side of the stage. The lighting and sound were just as impressive. The technical side of the production was spot on however I felt the crew outshone the cast in this case. The play, cleverly written by Alan Ayckbourn, requires skillful delivery so that the comedic element is not lost amongst the unraveling storyline that is told between time warps of 1996, 2016 and 2036. I have to say that I was disappointed with the delivery of the play. Somehow the dynamics of the cast did not quite hit the mark. I'm not sure if it was due to opening night nerves but the energy levels seemed to be all over the place and the characters were not convincing. That however is based on one night's performance and I don't feel reflects on the production as a whole.
There were some funny moments which could have been milked had the actors been more relaxed and absorbed in their characters and in tune with the audience. There is definitely potential for reviving the energy and flow of this play and making it a fun night out. Director, Annie Lotocki's creative vision for the play and hard work behind the scenes was certainly apparent and a credit to her. Everything from set decoration, costumes and visual effects were classy and definitely had the mark of a professional.
Javeenbah Theatre is a small intimate, air-conditioned theatre located in Nerang. It is beautifully set up with tables and chairs al fresco where you can meet friends prior to the show and enjoy drinks and nibbles at the fully licensed bar. There is also comfortable seating indoors. Opening night tickets include a light supper after the show giving you an opportunity to socialise and meet the cast and crew. Javeenbah is an Aboriginal word meaning 'The Meeting Place'.