Posts Tagged ‘british farce


flying feathers

Flying Feathers

Coolum Theatre Players

Coolum Civic Centre 

23rd March – 1st April

Richard Kent (Roger Featherstone) surrounded by Mrs Winthrop's girls: Claire Sawyer (Sally), Chris McMahon (Jackie), Jesse Hana Ellison (Polly) and in front, Kathryn Rose (Debbie)


I love going to a Coolum Theatre Players’ show. The Coolum Civic Centre is not the greatest venue (the sound disappears pretty quickly into its cavernous belly) and I often forget to take drinks and tapas (damn!) but we always get a warm welcome and more and more often, we’re getting a great, fun show. Friday night was no exception. President, Julia (lovely is her middle name) Loaney, greeted us and showed us to our seats and we enjoyed a fast-paced British farce, Flying Feathers, featuring a few familiar faces and a couple of new ones.


Jesse Hana Ellison (Polly)



Claire Sawyer (Sally)


Pretty tightly written, by Derek Benfield, with a typical, farcical twist, Flying Feathers is a short, funny show for everyone (well, perhaps not for your youngest, being set in a “house of sin”). Well-respected local Director, Nancy Kinmond, has obviously had fun with this one, which meant that we did too.

The problems associated with solving multiple mistaken identities provide the amusing premise, with plenty of sexy costumes, postures and innuendo thrown in. In typically ridiculously hilarious fashion, somebody, little orphan Annie style, escapes the crazy house in a laundry basket, somebody comes back to life in the laundry basket, and somebody nicks off with a bottle of whiskey to the relative safety of a cupboard instead of into the laundry basket!

Tania Nash (Mrs Winthrop) provides much of the pace behind the action in Act 1 and, with so much to set up; this can only improve during the short run. Improving pace means getting on top of those cues, guys! You know who you are! I know Nancy has drilled you. Now you need to drill it some more! What Act 1 lacked in pace, it made up for in energy and total commitment to the tale. What a pleasure to see a true team effort, performers supporting each other in their roles and working hard together to make the jokes work. The partnership between Chris McMahon and Claire Sawyer is testament to this. Carla Edgar (Sarah) and Sean Bennet (Henry/Bernard) also showed us how easy it can be to support each other on stage rather than compete for the spotlight. There are other companies who can learn a lot from seeing this production. Go together, book a table, TYO (take your own) drinks and nibbles and talk after the show. Just like the old days. If you don’t enjoy this show you can talk after the show about how wrong I was!

I love seeing Jesse Ellison give a stronger and slicker performance in each production. I love seeing Sean Bennett make more confident choices in his roles and I love seeing Dennis Coleman in a role, finally, in which he is perfectly cast. This is a strong cast overall, with obvious mentors taking the newer ensemble members through their paces. This is what I like to see. This is how it should be. This is what community theatre is all about and it wouldn’t happen without somebody wonderful at the helm. Congratulations to Nancy and Coolum Theatre Players. Once again, you’ve excelled. May you have full houses and heaps of fun!


Tania Nash (Mrs Winthrop)

Photos courtesy Neil Dearberg

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