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I’m Sorry The Bridge Is Out, You’ll Have To Spend The Night - Murray Music and Drama

Updated: May 8, 2023

Reviewed by Paul Treasure

 

At its heart, what exactly is Community Theatre? There are many competing answers to this question, but if your answer includes people getting together to have fun and providing entertainment for their community, then it is quite possible Murray Music and Drama’s latest offering, "I’m Sorry The Bridge Is Out, You’ll Have To Spend The Night", may well be the epitome of the term.


The show takes several classic horror-movie tropes and characters and mashes them together in a light and somewhat ridiculous musical. Carole Dhu’s production takes the show for what it is, runs with it, leans into the ridiculousness, and gives us a big, dumb, and thoroughly enjoyable show.


Costume Co-ordinator, Cathy Puzey, may have had one of the most fun tasks of any wardrobe person this year, costuming a cast full of horror stereotypes from vampires and mad-scientists through to a mummy and a hunchback sidekick. Most glorious was the costume for the werewolf, Prince Rex Talbot, whose transformation is achieved with a few strips of fur and a furred hood with wolf ears, resulting in the most adorable werewolf in the history of all werewolves. Joel Gal, who inhabits the costume, plays up the dog-based humour of the role like a very good boy!


There has been some debate over recent years about the lack of decent female roles in theatre. This production has cast females in quite a number of male roles, resulting in some of the best moments in the show. Jodie Bonner as The Monster and Jacinda Gordon as The Mummy steal the show with a number accurately called “The Grunt Song” as the two characters gleefully bond over the fact that neither of them speaks during the show, just making groans and grunts. Jacinda is also credited with creating her own character’s sarcophagus, a marvellous set piece set permanently to stage left of the stage, and used quite cleverly several times.


Kelly Cure makes a great impression at the top of Act 2 as body-snatcher Montclair with her song “Somebody’s Got To Do It”, supported wonderfully by Kristen Norris as fellow body-snatcher Claremont and the perfect comic timing and irrepressible liveliness of Tammy Peckover as The Body. Lori Anders channels her best Hammer Horror voluptuousness in her portrayal of the vampire Natasha. Ruthy Creelman, at the other end of the spectrum, was delightful as the virginal Mary-Helen Merryman.


It is Jacky Crestman, however, who stands out as best on stage for her hilarious take on Mom Talbot, the much-put-upon mother of the werewolf Rex, and dressed as the most stereotypical sideshow gypsy. Her scenes are the most successfully comic of the show, and her Act 2 solo, “The Things a Mother Goes Through”, is one of the more difficult songs in the show, but one she handles with great humour.


If I had any suggestions for improvement, it would be that some of the actors could have leaned even further into the ridiculousness. This show is built for coarse acting and a glorious chance to let go of subtlety and just go for broke.


Overall this is a rough-and-ready production of a silly little show and one of the most enjoyable nights at the theatre this reviewer has had in quite a while. Take advantage of the cabaret seating, pack a bag full of snacks, take the drive down to Pinjarra, switch your brain off for a couple of hours, and just have some fun! You know you deserve the break.

The cast of "I’m Sorry The Bridge Is Out, You’ll Have To Spend The Night". Image Credit: Gemma Little

Reviewer note: Paul has previously performed at Murray Music and Drama Club. Tickets for this review were provided by the theatre company.



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