Murder-mystery with dark humour
In a market flooded with whodunit style murder mysteries, Theatre 8’s production of The Hollow carves a distinct name for itself through the injection of timely black comedy and enthralling acting.
The Geraldton theatre group’s adaptation of Agatha Christie’s 1946 novel follows upper-class English family the Angkatells and the murder that takes place in their country estate.
Multiple characters are suspected, including morose and overlooked Edward Angkatell, charismatic and quirky Lady Angkatell, formal and contained butler Gudgeon and audacious prima donna Veronica Craye.
In the style of Wes Craven’s genre-revitalising 1996 film Scream, the 91-page script focuses on one main suspect, who is decidedly too obvious to be the killer, prompting audiences to think about the play’s complex and interesting romantic subplots as they work to figure out who the murderer is.
Director and actor Rebecca Pusey said she had a very impressive and dedicated team, but was most surprised with the cast’s youngest member, 18-year-old Riley Jupp.
The former Great Northern Football League Rovers colts player oozed melancholy and self-deprecation while playing Edward Angkatell, convincing audiences the character bore real pain.
Jupp said Edward’s glum persona was a significant change from previous roles. “He was a bit mopey, yeah,” said.
“It’s quite different than what I’m used too, I’m more used to playing an outgoing character or an angry one.”
Another standout on stage was Stephen Love, who played the confident ladies’ man John Christow. The 29-year-old actor says he was able to bring a bit of himself to his character.
“He finds a need to be in charge of things and to control things but he also has this insecurity,” he said.
“He worries he will fall out of favour with people and sometimes I think there’s a bit of me in there as well. I don’t like to control things, but there is a bit of me that worries what people think, as most people do, and that kind of leads into the John character.”
Other members of the 12-strong cast include Chantelle Thomas, Malcolm Love, Wendy Love, Lynda Brough, Eva Sandberg, Rob Offer, Rebecca Pusey, Kathryn Laughlin, Lachlan Anderson and Chris Clune.
Performances will run until September 16 at the Theatre 8 venue. For bookings visit trybooking.com.