A walk on the mad side: Arsenic & Old Lace

IT’S got to be one of the silliest plays in the public repertoire, but Joseph Kesselring’s so-called ‘farcical black comedy’, “Arsenic & Old Lace”, is still one of the most delightful entertainments available, and it’s coming to Belconnen Theatre this weekend.

Lynne Seaman and Marian FitzGerald as aunties, Abbey and Martha Brewster

Lynne Seaman and Marian FitzGerald as aunties, Abbey and Martha Brewster

Needless to say, this writer is on the side of Mortimer Brewster, New York drama critic whose life goes awry when he discovers that his sweet little old aunties, famous for their elderberry wine, are in reality serial killers.

Jason Morton and Bill Kolentsis as Jonathan Brewster and Dr Einstein

Jason Morton and Bill Kolentsis as Jonathan Brewster and Dr Einstein

And that’s not all. Kesselring has created a rogues’ gallery, including an escaped convict, a schizophrenic who thinks he’s Theodore Roosevelt and a sinister doctor undoubtedly inspired by some of the nastier moments of the Third Reich.

Apart from them, there is the normal side of humanity exemplified in Mortimer and his lady love Elaine.

But are they really normal?

In this rip roaring thrill-a-minute farce, there’s no telling. Tempo Theatre director Jon Elphick, famous for his Agatha Christies, has taken a walk on the mad side, but one may safely predict it will be just Tempo’s cup of tea.

“Arsenic & Old Lace”, Tempo Theatre Inc. at theatre@bcs – Swanson Crt Belconnen, September 4, 5, 9, 10, 11, 12 at 7.30pm. Matinees on September 5 and 12 at 2pm. twilight show on September 6 at 4pm Bookings to canberraticketing.com.au or 6275 2700.

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