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Deathtrap - Sunnybank Theatre

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by John Andrew (subscribe)
I enjoy "fine dining", presenting programs on radios 4MBS, MBS Light and 4RPH and going to drama and music at Brisbane theatres.
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When is a murder not a murder
If you like comedy thrillers with as many twists as a cork-screw, then "Deathtrap" is for you. If the name is familiar, that may be because it holds the record for the longest-running Broadway comedy thriller, and it is a film, starring Christopher Reeve and Michael Caine.

Sydney Bruhl, played by Chris O'Leary, is a once-successful playwright, going through an extended period of writer's blocks and failed plays. He is living off his wife's money, and that is running out. Enter Clifford Anderson, a student of his, who has written a play which Sydney recognises as a sure-fire hit. Clifford is something of a recluse, and has shown the script to no-one but Sydney, who ponders aloud to his wife that if he were to kill his student, and steal his play, all his financial problems could be solved at one kill.

You can see where all this is leading except, you can't. I doubt if anyone in the theatre was expecting where Ira Levin takes the plot of this play, judging by the audible gasps when the unexpected happened. And keeps happening, all through the play, right up to very nearly the end, when you relax, only to be bamboozled yet again.

Sunnybank Theatre has a great talent for picking plays that work well on their stage, and with their available cast. This play is no exception. Every single cast member plays their role well, and the audience was clearly engaged throughout, laughing and gasping as the play amused and bemused.

If you want an evening of excellent amateur theatre, with lots of laughs, and plot twists that (mostly) you won't see coming, then look no further.

I'd give it four stars out of five and I never give fives.
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Why? A great night's entertainment
When: July 25 to August 9
Phone: 3279 4503
Where: Sunnybank Theatre, 14 Mains Rd Sunnybank QLD 4109
Cost: $25
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