By Jessica Leafe
Ira Levin’s Deathtrap is the longest running thriller on Broadway of all time, and Darlinghurst Theatre Company’s production of this, directed by Jo Turner, is a thoroughly entertaining one.
Without ruining the story, the play itself is hilarious – continually working between black comedy and tense horror, and often combining the two.
Set out in the lounge room of a used-by playwright and his wife (Andrew McFarlane and Sophie Gregg) in the late seventies, the plot includes ambition, greed, psychic fortune and of course, murder. It is, however, deliberately self-conscious and comically irreverent, poking a little fun at both the genre and theatrical setting in a similar way to the classic play version of The 39 Steps.
Its cast of five actors (including Timothy Dashwood, Georgina Symes and Drew Fairley) are all well-known faces to the Sydney theatre audience. They each bring the comedy and play the shock factor with strength.
Set designer Michael Hankin has brought the action into an enclosed and wonderfully foreboding set, complete with sunken lounge and working fireplace. The performance is highlighted by intermittent strobe lighting and musical accompaniment, which both work well at upping the horror as well as the parody.
This play will have you either laughing or gasping at sudden intervals. For a somewhat gruesome story, Deathtrap is a surprisingly light piece of real entertainment, and a recommended night out.
Deathtrap is playing at the Eternity Playhouse in Darlinghurst from 10 April – 10 May.
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