The setting sun over Balmoral Beach on a warm summer’s evening provided the perfect backdrop for a highly enjoyable night’s entertainment of Shakespeare’s THE TEMPEST presented by Bard on the Beach.
For 25 years Shakespeare by the Sea was a benchmark for outdoor Shakespeare in Sydney. Founded and curated by David MacSwan, the Company performed some twenty Shakespeare plays at the beach with its closing season in 2011 after MacSwan’s sudden death from a pulmonary embolism early on in the final summer
Agathie Christie’s 1944 play MURDER ON THE NILE, based on her 1937 novel DEATH ON THE NILE, is the new production at the inner city Genesian Theatre.
On board a steamer, cruising under the scorching Egyptian sun, honeymooners Simon Mostyn and his wealthy socialite wife Kay find themselves being pursued by Jackie, an old flame of the newly wedded groom and Kay’s former best friend… Then tragedy strikes… A body is discovered. All fingers point to Jackie. But to use the old chestnut, not everything is what it seems, and holidaying cleric Canon Pennefather is drawn into a web of intrigue and deceit as he finds himself on the trail of a ruthless murderer.
Genesian theatre patrons love a good murder mystery and Nanette Frew’s current production does not disappoint.
My pick of the cast was Ros Richards who was wonderful as the ditzy, snobby Helen ffoliot- ffoulkes. Courtney Bain showed some nice touches as Helen’s sensitive niece, Christina
Michael Barnacoat impressed as Canon Ambrose Pennefather, who, with great zeal, took it on himself to get to the bottom of the murders. Noemie Jounot had the role of Kay’s French maid Louise down pat, Martin Estridge was fun as the cynical, wise-cracking William Smith. Less satisfying was Vincent O’Neill’s portrayal of Dr Bessner, which has not found its mark yet.
Frew’s creative team contributed well,- Timothy M Carter with his lighting, Michael Schell’s soundscape, Susan Carveth’s period costumes and an outstanding set by Owen Gimblett’s depicting the observation salon of the paddle steamer ‘Lotus’.
The ‘Lotus’ will keep drifting along the great Nile river, somewhere between Shellal and Wadi Halfa, until it docks into port with the final show on Saturday October 5, 2013.
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