Review - ghostly chuckles with Getting Even with Steven
The Dolbys and the Barlows relax - before the supernatural games begin
Getting Even with Steven
By Eric Scott
Directed by Damien Lee
Presented by Studio Theatre
Continues until September 19.Bookinmgs: 3399 3333 or online at www.studiotheatre.com.au
Getting Even with Steven is a comical play about love, betrayal, sex, death and revenge, and a very expensive bottle of port. It centres mainly on the two couples – the Dolbys the Barlows on the evening of the Barlow’s fifth wedding anniversary at the Dolby house.
The play opens with three of the characters – Chloe and Steven Dolby and Dennis Barlow enjoying a joke following a lavish meal and making a large dent in the wine collection. Steven’s phone rings and Chloe chastises him for still taking work calls.
He disappears to the kitchen to take the call. Chloe and Dennis are left alone for a while and then wonder what is taking Steven and Anita (who is in the kitchen stacking the dishwasher) so long and they joke about them having a bonk on the kitchen table.
Steven and Anita finally emerge from the kitchen, whereupon Steven decides he’s had enough of drinking wine and wants something nicer and tells Chloe he wants a port. Of course, there is none in the house. Dennis remarks he has a good port at home and after some to-ing and fro-ing Chloe and Dennis drive off in Chloe’s new MG to get it, leaving Steven and Anita by themselves.
The car is hardly out of the drive, before Anita jumps on Steven, kissing him madly and they are at it on the sofa. Quite some time passes, with Chloe and Dennis not having come back, and there is a knock on the door.
Sen Sgt Arnold has arrived to break the bad news that there has been an accident and both Chloe and Dennis have been killed. (Although the port is still in good condition). Now the fun begins, as Chloe and Dennis are transported back to the house as ghosts and begin to realise what has happened and what is going on, and the mischief they can now get up to with a bit of ectoplasm to exact their revenge on the unsuspecting lovers.
Dallas Fogarty (Steven Dolby) was very energetic in his part and played the hen-pecked husband well. Alexandria Page (Chloe Dolby) had her character down pat and was not too over the top in playing a vengeful, betrayed wife seeking to haunt the socks of her philandering husband.
Damien Lee (Dennis Barlow) was just right – fitting well into the part of a man with plenty of money, though a bit tight, but with a trophy blonde as his wife. Kristy Lee Castle (Anita Barlow) was great in her portrayal of a blonde bimbo, out to get everything she could out of life, even her husband’s work partner.
Trevor Jones (Sen Sgt Arnold) played the bumbling copper who thought he was detective material and was looking for the big case which would make his dream come true. The one who stole the show though is Jo Castle as Doris Le Grand, a dead psychic who is now the medium who has arrived to help Chloe and Dennis pass over.
The only thing I did not like was Anita’s hair – the blonde wig was just too fake and Marilyn Monroe-ish and the glasses seemed out of place. When she was not wearing them, there was no obvious sign that she couldn’t see well.
Apart from that, there are many ‘death’ clichés in this play, which get the audience laughing, as well as the ‘now you see me, now you don’t’ antics of Chloe and Dennis. The music chosen to accompany the opening, interval, scene changes (and special effects) is all spook orientated, some very familiar, one or two that are not as well known and it suited this play very well adding to the comedy.
The Studio Theatre stage is not large and would be hard pushed to accommodate a much larger cast than this play has. This being the case, the set was cleverly done to accommodate the setting of the Dolby’s living room.
Getting Even with Steven is a very funny play, highly entertaining and there is the very real possibility you may die laughing.