By Ira Levin. New Farm Nash Theatre, Queensland. Directed by Jason Nash. May 21 – June 12, 2021.

Written in 1978, Deathtrap has many plot twists and basically references itself as a play within a play. It was the longest running comedy thriller on Broadway and, from this production, it is clear why it was so successful. With a cast of only five and the one set, Nash Theatre made a sensible choice for this production and the end product verifies their choice.

Sidney Bruhl, a previously successful playwright, hopes to gain more success and when he associates with a student of his, a Clifford Anderson, the scheming becomes far more complex with inevitable results. As Anderson’s play evolves based on what has already happened – it is called “Deathtrap” – and it seems a certain success, things go from bad to worse. It is not helped by the visit by physic Helga ten Dorp, who predicts what is to happen. Or does she?  One thing for sure is that the audience was fully absorbed for the entire play.

Director Jason Nash (and his assistant Meg Bennett) have cast the production well and maintained a fluent and attention-grabbing staging. In the key role of Sidney Bruhl, Troy Bullock supplied the strength needed but may have been a little more subtle at times. Still, really well done. Outstanding in a strong cast was Andrew Townsend as Clifford Anderson the student cum playwright cum murderer who moves the play along. Which play? Kate Rohde was a good over the top psychic if a little overdone at times and made our thoughts become more jumbled. Kristina Redwood and Mark Scott completed the cast that interacted so well.

Nash Theatre has maintained its high standard of recent times and this is a production in the must-see category.

William Davies

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