Mur­der-mys­tery with dark hu­mour

Midwest Times - - THE EDGE -

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.

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