Adelaide Theatre Guide
Review by Luke Wagner
Energy and enthusiasm are found in abundance onstage in Blackwood’s latest show.
“Crazy Capers, Dodgy Deals” follows a group of twentysomethings as they meet up for their six-year high school reunion. Coincidentally, two of their classmates, who were unaware of the reunion, have taken on a life of crime and have planned a heist in the very same hotel.
The show’s storyline was predictable but the cast held the show together extremely well. The set of the hotel lobby-come-hotel-bar was effective, with a very clever elevator as its centre feature, and director James Barbary did well in manoeuvring the cast around the enormous stage.
Mitchell Lowe and George Bannard as Frankie and Duggs, the burglars, were very entertaining. Bannard in particular held a flawless accent and drew many of the laughs through his dim-witted character. Tiffany Barbary was the most outstanding singer of the night delivering a stunning solo number, and holding her own in many other songs. Lauren Hollis was entertaining as Veronica, a money-hungry vixen dating one of the ex-students.
The show needed some fine-tuning on the dance numbers, and the songs at times felt a little too long. It also featured an array of songs that seemed at times out of place – a song about a game of hockey seemed to be an illogical choice for a play set in 70s Britain during a celebratory weekend. This song bizarrely enough also became the shows finale number.
However, the large cast, all with diverse stage experience, was clearly having a ball onstage.
Reviewed by Fran Edwards
It is always interesting to see something original and you approach it often with a touch of trepidation, will it entertain? Well, there may be plenty of faults, but yes it entertains!
Written by Chris Goy (with additional material by Dave Ross), I'm not sure if this David Spicer Productions script has been produced in SA before. Director James Barbary had a very enthusiastic cast to work with, and they gave it their all.
In the key roles of Frankie 'the fingers' Fuller and John 'Duggs' McGee, Mitchell Lowe and George Bannard play it for laughs and after a slightly shakey start they get them.
The other leads were working well too, Tiffany Barbary as Karen, Hayden Lowe as Tony, Paul Hutchison as Vince and Lauren Hollis as Veronica all give good performances. David Whittlesea and Madelaine Kehoe amuse as hippies Dean and Pearl, while Vannessa Schar and Rebecca Sladden give good support as Janet and Jane.
The hotel staff played by Koah Spain, Martin Barbary and Danyon Crafts were fun, as were the silly policemen played by Anita Collis, Sally Fudge and Annie Gladis.
Having said that the music (which was uncredited) was adequate but uninspiring, the set, although it looked reasonable was badly designed and led to unrealistically long scene changes. These will get shorter as the season goes, but cannot get short enough due to the logistics of the design. We all know some spaces are hard to work with, experience will help.
Blackwood should be congratulated for a great effort, which managed to entertain despite all.
Crazy Capers Dodgy Deals.