Mon. May 27th, 2024

After a very well received opening weekend, Black Comedy presented by the Armidale Drama and Musical Society and performing at the Armidale Playhouse is a play well worth seeing.

Black Comedy is a one act British farce set in mid-60s London, perfectly blending a witty script with physical comedy.  The delightfully absurd and improbable scenarios the characters find themselves in amply delivers on the promise of an enjoyable night out.

Very much an ensemble piece, the play is fast paced with unexpected visitors, mistaken identities, and surprises lurking around every darkened corner. Jono McAteer has demonstrated a deft hand in directing this challenging and sometimes complex play requiring all characters to demonstrate absolute comedic timing and a fearless physicality.

The set has been very cleverly designed to make maximum use of the space while allowing room for the characters to make the most of the physicality of the play. The costumes are spot on for all the characters however that of Harold Gorringe is an absolute standout.   I don’t want to ruin so won’t explain other than to say, the pussy bow is truly next level.

The show is very well-cast, Hadi Hussein as young sculptor, Brindsley Miller and fiancée Amy Showell as Carol Melkett are very effective. While Andrew O’Connell simply owns the role of Harold Gorringe.

The role of Colonel Melkett could have easily descended into the stereotypical retired army officer; however, the protective, somewhat bemused father of Carol is believably brought to life by Richard Kiehne while Carmel Reilly is spot on as the old-fashioned Miss Furnival

Kate Frazier was impressive as Clea, the fun and flirty ex-girlfriend whose unexpected arrival really sets the cat among the pigeons. Geneva Stocker as Schuppanzigh is very funny, playing the “straight man” with to great effect not withstanding her German accent. And ADMS Stalwart, Neil Horton in a cameo role as Georg Bamberger.

Without giving too much away the premise of the play is that light and dark are transposed, and lighting is therefore critical in pulling off much of the physical comedy. Nathan Mark on sound and light must surely be very busy behind the scenes.

To quote the director, Jono McAteer, “Black Comedy is pure entertainment, with no hidden meaning – what you see is what you get.” 

If you are looking for a fun night out, Black Comedy is the go.  Black Comedy is running until 28 October, and there are, at time of writing still a very small number of tickets available so if you don’t want to miss out, book now at www.trybooking.com/CLFEV

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