‘Who Killed Candy Sweetness’ is a fun-filled thriller, written by Perth playwright and actor, Bree Veedenburgh. Following in the success of the ‘Dimboola’ wedding reception presentation two years ago, Bree became inspired to write a mystery for a dining audience, allowing them to become part of the investigation and to help determine the killer of a world famous performer.
This Maylands Peninsula Sports and Recreation Club Inc. production is in conjunction with the Rag and Bone Theatre Group Inc. Let this dining experience take you back to 1938, indeed you are invited to come dressed for the occasion in your best 1930’s or demob outfit. The dinner and play are being presented nightly at 7.30 pm in the Peninsula Ballroom, beautifully transformed into an authentic 1930's venue, at the Maylands’ Peninsula Sports and Recreation Centre, 50 Clarkson Road, Maylands.
Performances run until Saturday 20th October.
On arrival at this stylish venue, laid out as for a banquet with white linen covered chairs and tables, I was greeted by the immaculately attired Maitre-d’, Alfonse (Tad Krystal) and his junior waiter (Carey Chaffee). After being shown to my table, I was given a welcoming drink.
The lights dimmed and onto the stage walked the orchestra’s conductor, Smoothy McGroovy (Michael Barlow). As the band burst into tune with ‘Begin the Beguine’ Smoothy welcomed us to this live radio broadcast sponsored by the Razzle Dazzle Shoe Polish Company. The beautiful Schless Sisters, Bess (Rebecca Lennox), Tess (Allira Humberstone) and Jess (Therese Cruise) with their even more beautiful voices, burst into tune advising us of the qualities of this special shoe cleaner.
At the side of the stage, seated at his special table was the area’s richest man, Lonegan Megabucks (Douglas Houston), accompanied by his drop dead gorgeous dame, dripping in diamonds and fur, Hilda Helgenbrauer (Karina Martin).
The dance floor clears and Smoothy introduces the Hullaballoo Hoppers (Perth Swing Dance Society) who show us how swing should really be skipped and bopped. The music leader introduces us to his new singing talent, bleached blonde Laila (Samantha Morey) who sings the first number, with a hilarious voice that is guaranteed to clear the earwax from every ear in the house. After the comedy duo of Diggs (James Hynson) and Shadowbolt (Kathleen Uhlmann) complete with their 1930 jokes – but it is the way they tell them! - a drum roll lets us know that the act of the night is about to arrive, the internationally famous singer, Candy Sweetness. Smoothy gives her a huge build up but she fails to appear on stage.
The stage manager, Andy (Denys Lunn) along with the Schless Sisters, is sent to Candy’s room. There is a chilling scream. Candy has been found dead. By chance, in the audience of this radio concert is Detective Robert Soxx (Antony Lonsdale) can he solve the mystery of who did the dastardly deed?
In an attempt to divert attention from the death, the first course of the Chef’s (Charmaine Schloss) sumptuous food is served, and the stunning cigarette girls (Astra-Lia England and Tanya Holzmann) in their brief, royal blue silk dresses are sent around with their cigarette trays, to charm the guests.
The inventive direction of Jane Sherwood and her assistant Bree Vreedenburgh, coupled with the talents of a very strong cast, had this most pleasant evening galloping along. The American accents were authentic, but not overpowering or distracting. The costumes lavish and giving the air of opulence to the whole evening. An informative and quality 12 glossy ‘A4’ sides programme was available for a mere $3. There was great Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw and Glenn Miller swing music, dancing, singing, comedy and most of all, tongue in cheek, melodramatic acting.
There can be no doubt as to the incredible amount of work that writer, co-director, musical director, sound technician and general overseer Bree Vreedenburgh has put into this show. A brave step to take, but he who dares wins!
The welcoming drink accompanied a three course meal that showed imagination, with a choice of interesting chef-prepared dishes – not the pie and chips that I have experienced at similar productions elsewhere. Generous portions were served, and the quality reflected in the empty plates at the end of each course. The meal was worth the entrance price alone. To ensure no unnecessary deaths occur, gluten free and vegetarian options are available.
Please don’t disclose any clues, and don’t assume that tomorrow’s killer will be the same person. If, however, you are looking for a mild, mind-bending change from the usual quiz night challenge, for a good meal but most of all good entertainment, music and a laugh then this show will brighten your week.
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