Tag Archives: Susan Carveth


THE LADYKILLERS began life as an Ealing comedy written by William Rose and directed by Alexander Mackendrick in 1955, and was adapted for the stage in 2011 by Graham Linehan, well known for Father Ted, Black Books and the IT Crowd.

When the kind hearted Mrs Wilberforce rents a room to the charming Professor Marcus she is overjoyed to hear music from her house. The Professor says its a perfect room to rehearse with his string quartet! Surely it’s a coincidence a security van route passes nearby? When large bundles of cash turn up the musical ruse is rumbled and the gang is exposed! What will happen to the sweet old widow when  she confronts this bizarre group of crooks?

My favourite scene from this tall tale, this yarn has to be the scene just prior to interval when the band of crims, masquerading as musicians, have to perform in front of house guests and produce the most cacophonous sounds. Everyone says how much they liked the performance but Mrs Wilberforce will have none of it and says it was terrible.

Pamela Whalan gives a very credible performance as the loquacious, ‘old dear’ Mrs Wilberforce. She is so busy telling Constable MacDonald about her theories on crime schemes within the neighbourhood that when something real happens the Constable doesn’t believe her.

Rod Stewart plays the erstwhile Constable MacDonald who is very patient with  Mrs Wilberforce.

Marty O’Neill is well cast and gives a very fine performance as  Professor Marcus, the leader of the criminal troupe and their civilised face. The troupe are out to do a heist of a security van outside the local Kings Cross railway station.

Stephen Doric played the cross dressing con man Major Courtney.

Doug Wiseman  was a lot of fun as the obsessive compulsive Harry Robinson.

Paul Rye played the not very bright ex pugilist suitably names One Round.

Barry Nielsen played the very unhumorous Romanian  psychopath Louis Harvey.

Susan  Carveth had a cameo role as one of the house guests.

A veteran costume designer for the Genesian’s, Carveth’s costumes for this production were, as always, very good and appropriate.

Grant Fraser’s set with its cracked walls, mimicked the cracked facades of the play’s characters.

This was a fun night at the theatre, one where the performers on stage seemed to be having as much fun as the audience.

This was the Sydney premiere production of this Linehan play. THE LADYKILLERS is  playing the Genesian Theatre, 420 Kent Street, Sydney until the 15th February, 2020













There’s a classic Joan Armatrading song called Love and Affection that memorably goes ‘I’m not in love but I am open to persuasion.’ In Jane Austen’s classic work Anne Elliott never needed any persuading, she knew that she in . love with  Frederick Wentworth. Some eight years prior she had broken her engagement to him because of pressure from her family that he was not of sufficient social standing.

Austen’s story starts in ‘present time’ with the two  finding that they find themselves ‘travelling’ in the same circles again. Things have changed. Most notably Frederick Wentworth has come back from the war as a Captain with the prestigious status of Captain  and improved social standing and means. Will the two revisit their past feelings now that circumstances have changed?!

Trudy Ritchie. directs Tim Luscombe’s stage adaptation well. The set is modest featuring a living room space with the audience asked to imagine the play’s different locations. Mehran Mortezaei’s lighting design had some nice touches. Susan Carveth’s lovely period costumes were a highlight.

All the performances are satisfying.

Rose Treloar is very appealing as the attractive, intelligent heroine Anne Elliott whose life has been ‘constricted’ by her conservative family’

Kendall Drury is suitably suave and sophisticated as Captain Frederick Wentworth.

Tom Massey gives a stand-out performance as the blustery, vain, self satisfied baronet Sir Walter Elliott.

Natasha McDonald  is a snobby, superior  Elizabeth Elliott, Sir  Walter’s oldest daughter, who doesn’t think much of Anne, wants to run the family’s affairs and encourages her fathers  wayward indulgences.

Angela Johnston  is suitably grating, neurotic and grating as Mary Musgrove, Sir Walter’s youngest daughter, married to Charles Musgrove.

Nick,Fitzsimmons is a cheerful  Charles Musgrove, Mary’s  agreeable husband.

Charlotte Robertson  impressed as Louise Musgrove,  the high spirited second sister of Charles Musgrove who has come home after completing her school years.  She suffers a serious fall which shakes her up a lot. Louise ends up being engaged to Captain Benwick.

Vitas Varnas  has two roles playing Mr William Elliott and Mr Harville. As Captain Harville he plays  a slightly disabled man,. He walks with a limp, the result of a war injury.  He plays that convincingly. He was also convincing as the cold, calculating opportunist Mr William Elliott,

Elias Parker plays a courteous and intellectual Captain Benwick who has had a tragedy in his life when his wife to be died at sea. He is close to Anne, they share a love of reading and the Captain confides in Anne.

Jodie Sibley is credible as the kindly Lady Russell who  is overly protective of her goddaughter Anne and was instrumental in getting Anne to reject Frederick’s offer of a marital proposal.

Catherine Waters  had two roles as Mrs Clay and Mrs Croft.  Waters depicts suitable cunning as the poor widow Mrs Clay who has her heart set on marrying Sir Walter. As Mrs Croft she plays a woman who has married for love rather than money with her marriage to Admiral Croft.

A regular performer at the Genesian Theatre Company Rod Stewart is aptly good natured and plain speaking as Admiral Croft.

The show’s only negatives…There was a technical hiccup with a missed lighting cue and the actors finding themselves briefly in the dark.  The only other gripe. Sometimes the entrances onto the stage were a little slow and could have been a bit tighter.

Recommended, the Genesian Theatre Company’s production of Jane Austen’s novel PERSUASION as adapted by Tim Luscombe is playing at the Genesian Theatre, 420 Kent Street, Sydney CBD until Saturday 17 August, 2019.

The Complete Works Of Shakespeare Abridged @ Genesian Theatre

Jamie Collette, Jessica Gray and Barry Nielsen deliver high energy, comic performances. Production photography by Craig O’Regan.
Jamie Collette, Jessica Gray and Barry Nielsen deliver high energy, comic performances. Production photography by Craig O’Regan.

The Genesian Theatre Company regularly include a Shakespeare play within their yearly program and their productions are always very respectful and keep true to the often sombre tones of the Bard’s great works.

With their current production the Company has decided on a different approach, declaring its time to have some fun with the Bard. They do so by way  of a revival of the Reduced Shakespeare Company’s production of  THE COMPLETE WORKS OF  WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE ABRIDGED, written by Adam Long, Daniel Singer and Jess Winfield.

Continue reading The Complete Works Of Shakespeare Abridged @ Genesian Theatre

A Midsummer Night’s Dream @ The Genesians

Jack McMahon as Demetrius and Catherine Davies as Helena. Photography by Mark Banks
Jack McMahon as Demetrius and Catherine Davies as Helena. Photography by Mark Banks

At first glance over the program and cast list for this production, the feint-hearted traditionalist could be excused for having some concerns. Shakespeare’s classic is now to be seen through Australian eyes, with ‘Beach Bums’ and ‘Hippies’ replacing the Players and Fairies.

However such fears are short lived. Any potential cringing is replaced with sheer enjoyment. Debbie Smith’s beautifully bright beach-to bush set and well-directed cast burst off the stage making us quickly at home. The reworking succeeds and the increased humour is performed with slick precision along the way. Continue reading A Midsummer Night’s Dream @ The Genesians