Blackwood Players Inc
Blackwood 21 (Blackwood Memorial Hall)
Until 11 Nov 2017

Review by Janice Bailey

The title says it all in this Comedy/Farce/Melodrama written by Steve Franco – anything can happen, especially at Christmas. Blackwood Players have been presenting entertainment to an appreciative audience longer than most other Theatre Companies in Adelaide and they have a well-deserved loyal following. As experienced director Erik Strauts states in his notes ‘it is unlikely that this show will change your life or make you a better person.’ Highly probable – but it will give you a good laugh and get you in the mood for Christmas. Blackwood Players is indeed true community theatre, providing the opportunity for anyone interested in theatre to be involved on stage or behind the scenes.

This show has a huge cast and includes first-timers to seasoned performers. The difference is apparent to the critical eye and was at times jarring, but generally doesn’t detract from the overall experience. The opening night audience was appreciative and generous in their responses and applause. The set design by Erik Strauts was highly effective, leaving no doubt as to the time of year. Unless your name is Scrooge it is very difficult not to be positively affected by Christmas decorations and fairy lights!

Tony and Vinnie rob a liquor store and choose the Douglas home as their ‘hiding place’ – their second mistake. Adam Schultz, a newcomer to the theatre scene, plays the irritable Tony mostly with conviction. His sidekick, Vinnie, played by the experienced James Barbary has created a very good ‘stooge’ character and the two are able to bounce off each other comfortably. Unfortunately for the hapless pair the number of hostages keeps growing as the guests for the Douglas family Christmas Eve family dinner keep arriving and the mayhem and chaos ensues as each new character arrives.

If you want to get in the mood for Christmas, give yourself an early Christmas experience, get into the spirit and have a good laugh.