Dining as murder takes its course!

Tears of Blood

The Bearly Together Company

Theatre 62

MURDER most foul and cruel injustice, nicely interrupted by a creamy cornucopia of the freshest fruit. Them's the breaks at dinner-theatre shows and just as well, if one wants to order a port to go with coffee and the grand denouement.

While Tears of Blood is as comfortably predictable as any old melodrama should be, it is hard to accept the fact that one is also relishing a particularly succulent three-course meal in. the auditorium of dear old Theatre 62. Where will the rebirthing of this theatre end? From racism, promenade style, to murder and chicken breasts in less than a month.

By anyone's book Tears of Blood is good value at $38 a dinner/show ticket. Wittily written and directed by Allen Lyne, it's a sophisticated pastiche of glorious, cornball melodrama.

Allen Lyne, as Sir Marmaduke CBE, KCBE, etc, trains the audience to chorus "tears of blood" at the wave of his white linen hanky, prompting it to endless, increasingly riotous chants throughout the evolving saga.

Briefly, the plot has it that young Algernon Marmaduke, so endearingly and poncily played by Malcolm McDowell look-alike Syd Brisbane, opens a floodgate of intrigue and diabolical opportunism when he brings sweet, working-class Belle home to meet his mad rellies.

Evil stepmother, connivingly played with shrieks of maniacal laughter by Pat Wilson, schemes with Uncle Darkly Threatening to capture the family fortune with a spot of dishonour, double-dealing and bloodshed.

Despite every conceivable pun being played on her name, sweet, ordinary Belle, Stone maintains her integrity.

Of course, Alan Holy makes an unholy villain, lashing the air with his red, silk-lined cloak, twirling his mo and cackling wickedly. Oh, that his ponce of a nephew, let alone his dolt of a brother, cannot see his duplicity. The audience gets to do a lot of hissing, booing and general barracking to help the characters along. Indeed, by play's end, everyone is waving table napkins and bellowing at every opportunity.

Thus is Tears of Blood a joyfully decadent piece of intelligently‑wrought frivolity ‑ and a very satisfying way in which to emerge from the post‑Festival torpor.

Samela Harris

The Adelaide Advertiser


Theatre bill tops the menu

The Bearly Together Theatre Company is offering a parody of Victorian melodrama at Theatre 62.

In a mushroom pink drawing room setting, Sir Marmaduke Marmaduke's wife, Lady Gertrude Marmaduke, and his brother, Sir Darkly Threatening Marmaduke, plot against the intended nuptials between the Hon Algernon Marmaduke and the poor but honest socialist Belle Stone.

The whole jolly show sports exaggerated emotions and dastardly deeds and the villain sports a five-poster bed. The hugely enjoyable script by Allen Lyne features pretty ditties by Pat Wilson.

There's lots of melodramatic breast beating (and I don't mean the chicken breast with brandy and cream sauce) along with audience participation.

Allen Lyne is a suitably crusty put-upon patriarch. Pat Wilson is marvellous as the wicked witch of East Lynne.

At $38 per head for meal and show, Tears Of Blood is value for money and you come out humming the hazelnut mousse.

Peter Goers

Adelaide Sunday Mail


Dastardly deeds done

THEATRE‑restaurant shows are out to make a killing as cool weather hits town.

Adelaide comedienne Pat Wilson has teamed with local playwright Allen Lyne and three others in one of them ‑ Tears of Blood, a brilliantly funny parody of Victorian melodrama playing at Theatre 62 until Saturday, May 16.

Patrons are served a delicious three‑course meal while dastardly deeds are done on the drawing‑room stage.

This melodrama, perfectly cast and with a tidy script by Allen Lyne, is a wonderful vehicle for Wilson's wit.

She plays the scheming Lady Gertrude Marmaduke who, in cahoots with her husband's villainous brother Sir Darkly Threatening (Alan Holy).

The two are in a plot against the intended marriage of hubby's second-eldest son Algernon (Syd Brisbane) to the poor but honest Belle Stone (Catherine Carter).

Wilson's wicked laughter is put to good effect, and Holy is suitably unholy with red‑satin cloak and upturned moustache to boot

Allen Lyne, as the crusty, ineffectual patriarch Sir Marmaduke, can only wield his white handkerchief and wail that "it's enough to make an old man weep--tears of blood" ‑ a chorus patrons are invited to repeat, which they do with increasing enthusiasm.

At $38 a head, Tears of Blood is a great night out.

Nick Carroll

Adelaide Messenger

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