Posts Tagged ‘psychological thriller





Pentimento Productions

Powerhouse Theatre

June 17 – 20 2015


Reviewed by Katelyn Panagiris




Tiptoe is an Australian psychological thriller, one of the interconnected series, The Sundial Plays, by critically acclaimed playwright Sven Swenson.


It is a play of epic proportions, shining a light on humanity in the aftermath of World War I.


The play follows seven characters across two timeframes presented on stage simultaneously.


From the opening moments, I felt immersed in the gothic world of the play; crafted in no small part by Brent Lammas’ set design and Tim Gawne’s lighting design. Combined with Wil Hughes’ sound design, an eerie and unsettling mood is set as the omnipresent character, Snow Cuttler (Michael Deed) is introduced. The interaction of performance and design – for example the use of the scrim and projection – distances the past from the present, and the fallen from the living. What follows on from these opening moments is a performance of equal parts beauty and violence.




As a psychological thriller Tiptoe demands active engagement and interpretation from the audience. The play contains several characters, subplots and twists at every point. Striking a balance between what is said and unsaid is crucial: in the first act I felt like there was too much exposition, whereas in the latter acts of the play I was left piecing together fragments of information. The density of the narrative especially became too much to process when focus was split and I was required to navigate three conversations simultaneously. In saying this, the staging is effective in linking characters and situations across the two timeframes, and there are some beautiful shared lines executed in perfect unison.




Each character, haunted by the past and dreams of a perfect future, is fully embodied by actors who realize the dense script with great skill. They are captivating to watch, with moments of sheer brilliance in Act III when the tension and intensity of the piece reaches its peak. In particular, the performances of James Trigg as Angus Drummond and Sam Ryan as Seth McClusky are heart-wrenching, while Sarah McLeod’s gritty performance as Binny Broadfoot carries the performance through to its final moments.




At the heart of Tiptoe is a simple love story driven by loss and hope. It is an enthralling performance, engaging the audience on both an intellectual and emotional level. Must close Saturday.



Veronica’s Room


A classic thriller by Ira Levin sees our couples twist and turn through this riveting and suspenseful piece of theatre. This macabre tale is set in Boston in the 70’s… or is it the 30’s? It will have you on the edge of your seat waiting for the next spine chilling twist.


With just three more performances, you still have time to catch this terrific thriller. You know Lind Lane Theatre hasn’t topped my list of Must-Sees lately but if they continue down this path (IT’S TIME!), that may be about to change. When Patricia Waterson was unable to continue with the production due to circumstances beyond anybody’s control, “Two Guys” stepped up to share the directing role. What Colin Grevett and Errol Morrison have done with Veronica’s Room is to leave it alone, and allow us to enjoy a horrifying story that gradually unfolds without allowing anything to get in the way of the storytelling.


Ira Levin’s brilliance is in the slow burn, and the surprising number of extraordinary reveals along the way; like his other well known works, Rosemary’s Baby (yikes!) and The Stepford Wives (eek!), there is plenty here to gasp at!



Despite an overwritten and thus a rather drawn-out, infuriating conclusion (think, again, of The Rocky Horror Picture Show), Veronica’s Room gives the actors deeply layered characters and unusual, intense relationships. It’s much stronger dramatic work than we’ve become accustomed to seeing at this venue. I still regard Lind Lane as the best little theatre on the Sunshine Coast, and it’s so good to come back to it as an audience member without cringing and ducking away quickly after a show! Just saying!


With set design and construction by Grevett and Morrison, and costumes by Anne Grant, the production looks great. And what a surprise it was to see Anne there, after not seeing her since QUT days! I’m looking forward to seeing Anne put on her director’s hat for Jill Shearer’s The Boat in May (it’s the second half of a double bill), and Summer Wonderland in October. In between, our much loved Nancy Kinmond will direct Stepping Out The Musical for a strictly limited June season.


488138_595095607187234_1196463081_nThe performances in Veronica’s Room are mostly confident, mostly solid, and it’s Rachel Halverson with whom I’m most impressed. Halverson was last seen in Noosa Arts Theatre’s The Fantastiks and in this we could not see a more contrasting role. Playing Susan-playing-Veronica is a stretch for many, but this is a great, gutsy performance that younger, less experienced actors (and older, more experienced actors too I might add) would benefit from seeing.


I’m so pleased Halverson is stretching herself this year with a couple of challenging roles, and a place in QTC’s Youth Theatre Ensemble, where she’s working with some of Brisbane’s best actors, directors and writers, including David Burton, about whom Halverson has raved, telling us that she can see their authentic selves will appear during their work with him, “whether we like it or not!” I can’t wait to see the showcase this year, after being super impressed with the work of the 2012 cohort!


Halverson is ably supported by Tully Grimley as the Young Man, Lea-Anne Grevett as the Lady, and Martin Harding as the Man.


If you’ve been meaning to get back to Lind Lane Theatre for a while now, Veronica’s Room won’t disappoint. Too bad I didn’t get to see it sooner, but with three shows remaining, including a matinee at 2pm on Saturday, you can still see it! For last minute tickets, call Denise on 07 5441 1814 or book online.