Despite its grammatical inaccuracy, the title of this play by Steve Franco is beguiling and the Blackwood Players took it on with gusto.
With two more shows to go, on the 17th and 18th November, it will be edging towards Christmas and the set is a colourful riot of Christmas decorations and a fake turkey looked good enough to eat. But you know what they say about Christmas and families!
Touchy as things may be with recalcitrant teenagers, outspoken and always talking Aunt Rose (Kathy Strauts), Uncle Leo (Martin Barbary) in a truly terrible wig, Paul’s (Caiden Crafts) horror-movie hair like ravens’ wings (whoever was responsible for the hair?), the neighbour from hell (Lorelle Pfeiffer) and several others, things weren’t so bad at the start. That is, until they were invaded by two crooks anxious to avoid the police by nestling in the arms of a loving family on that day of peace and kindness. That they failed to do, but Police Officer (Owen Teakle) was about as unauthoritative as a rooky could be and as dumb as one of the crooks, Vinny (James Barbary). Bamboozled by the number and characteristics of the family, there was plenty of gun-waving by the “sane” crook (Adam Schultz).
Erik Strauts, the Director, has a hard working cast but something listed as “A Comedy/Farce/Modern Melodrama” should come with bells on it (Christmas or not) ringing a loud warning about such productions. Subtlety, not overacting is far more effective than funny faces and so-obvious and self-conscious attempts at humour. It seems that the Blackwood Players have a loyal but small following and they are there to encourage the group. However, it was hard to do that when the sound quality was so poor. That is partly due to the acoustics of the Blackwood Memorial Hall, partly to poor projection and partly to the way the set is constructed. It has two rooms but in each, people turned their backs to the audience very often, thus losing them to guess what was said.
The temperature was 33 degrees outside, there was no air conditioning within and, while the tables and the hall were jolly and welcoming, a free programme at every table and a Devonshire tea to purchase, it was hard to deal with the heat.
This play was too ambitious for a cast many of whom lack experience to carry off this essentially silly play into the realms of good farce.
Blackwood Players presents
In-laws, outlaws & other people (that should be shot)
by Steve Franco
Director Erik Strauts
Venue: Blackwood Memorial Hall | 21 Coromandel Parade SA
Dates: 03-11-2017 – 18-11-2017
Tickets: $25 – $20