One of the thrills of going to theatre is being able to suspend your disbelief and immerse yourself into the story. The actors in Deathtrap, presented by Turner & Adler Productions in Kimberley, allow the audience to do exactly that.
Deathtrap was written by Ira Levin in 1978, and premiered at the Music Box Theatre in New York City. The play is set in the 1980’s in October.
As Director, Tylene Turner described, the story begins in Sidney Bruhl’s study one fateful afternoon in October, when the young playwright Clifford Anderson (Jerrod Bondy) arrives to work on a draft of his new play with his mentor, Sidney (Michael Grossman). Sidney is a sage old scribe who does not intend to go quietly into the good night, which greatly worries his wife, Myra (Michelle LeMay).
Grossman and LeMay play a great husband and wife duo, both are comedic and articulate with the script. Bondy comes in as the young playwright and lights up the stage, he is cogent in the role of Clifford.
“Deathtrap is endlessly self-aware and features two men battling for generational dominance as they write a five-character thriller — which is also a description of Deathtrap itself, the other characters being Sidney’s lawyer (played by Brodie Peterson), and the psychic Helga ten Dorp (Brigitte Franyo),” said Turner.
Frayno is comedic relief in times of tension and high stakes. Both her accent and her body language convince us, as the audience, that she is not only psychic, but also quite bizarre. Peterson has great comic timing and is authentic in his role as the Lawyer, who also seems to be a bit of an alcoholic.
In Deathtrap there is murder, deceit, hidden meanings, unexpected twists and turns in the plot, and an equal amount of tension and comedy.
The set is beautifully constructed and adds to the element of suspending disbelief. Turner and Adler built the set with the help of volunteers and artists, with authentic weapons hanging on the wall, a writer’s desk and a fireplace; it is a true study for a playwright of murder mysteries. The set is exactly as described in the script, which makes it easy to believe both the setting and the characters.
The costumes are simple, yet effective, and Frayno, again, brings comedy to the play not only with her acting but also with the costumes she wears.
The lights and use of sound are minimal, neither distracting nor attracting, which is perfect for this play. The lights highlight the setting and sound is used in the right moments, such as a telephone ringing or thunder and rain.
Do not miss the short run of this dark comedy, it will leave you on the edge of your seat. Deathtrap runs at Centre 64 from June 20 until June 24, with tickets available at the Snowdrift Cafe in Kimberley and Lotus Books in Cranbrook.