Friday, November 1st, 2013

WITH an abundance of changing identities, twists and surprises, Melville Theatre’s latest offering has been described as a “Russian doll of a play”.

Written by Roger Leach and Colin Wakefield and directed by Joan Scafe, Audience with Murder moves from a seemingly innocuous domestic play reading, through a murder- mystery in the classic style, to a final terrifying and violent climax.

A clever and compelling multi-layered style drives the play, delivering a witty thriller full of unexpected twists.

It was first produced at the 2004 Edinburgh Festival, subsequently receiving much critical acclaim at London’s Jermyn Street Theatre in 2006.

Audience with Murder appealed because of the sheer quirkiness of the concept and the fact Melville Theatre hasn't done a murder-mystery for a while,” Scafe said.

“It has plenty of twists to keep the audience on its toes and make them think about what is really happening.

“When the cast had their first reading, I was quite happy to see them discussing the script, spotting what was happening and getting what was going on.”

Initially performing while at school in the UK, Scafe has more than 35 years’ theatre experience in WA after she first took to the stage in a Murdoch University production of The Bacchae at Dolphin Theatre in 1977.

She appeared in Melville Theatre’s inaugural show Not Now Darling in 1982 and has appeared in a plethora of plays since – and was nominated for best actress for her role in Three Tall Women at the 2009 Finley Awards.

More recently, Scafe has appeared in Calendar Girls at Garrick Theatre and On Golden Pond at Harbour Theatre.

With Audience with Murder, she believes her main challenge is the lack of stage directions in the script.

“I have to look carefully at what’s going on – and what I know is coming next – to inject movement into what could be a very static play,” Scafe said.

“There are four in the cast so I’m pleased to have two experienced actors and two very keen young people who want to learn.”

Audience With Murder plays at 8pm, November 15, 16, 21, 22, 23, 28, 29 and 30 with a 2pm matinee November 24. Tickets are $18, $14 concession – book on (08) 9330 4565 or at

Melville Theatre is on the corner of Stock Road and Canning Highway, Palmyra.


awm-cast: Giuseppe Rotondella, Tara Smith, Sharon Menzies and Peter Bloor are appearing in Audience with Murder, described as a “Russian doll of a play” because of its abundance of twists and turns.

awm-sharon: Sharon Menzies plays three roles in the “Russian doll of a play” Audience with Murder, a show with intricate plotting and puzzles.

awm-giuseppe: Giuseppe Rotondella plays Sebastian, Dean, McTavish, Matt and Charles in Audience with Murder, a play that has layer upon layer similar to Russian dolls.

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Melville Theatre

The Melville Theatre Company was the brainchild of David J. Burton who, in 1982, called a meeting for interested people in the community to form a theatre company in the Melville area.

As a result, the Melville Theatre Company was born. The newly formed company's first production was the farce, Not Now Darling. With its second production, The Sound of Music, the young company won the Finley Award for the Best Production of the Year in Community Theatre. Since then, actors and directors have consistently featured in the list of awards at the annual State Drama Festival, now known as Dramafest.

Initially, performances were in the Melville Civic Centre but, since 1987, the venue has been the Roy Edinger Centre, on the corner of Stock Road and Canning Highway, Palmyra.

Joan Scafe
P: 08 9330 4565


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