The Thin Man

The Thin Man
A Radio Play, based on the novel by Dashiell Hammett. New Farm Nash Theatre, Brisbane. Directed by Philippa Dwyer. February 17 – March 11, 2023.

This production follows the tradition of Lux Radio Theatre, performing radio plays before live audiences for about twenty years from the mid 1930s. A retired detective and his wealthy wife decide to stimulate their own lives by trying to solve a mysterious case that comes to their attention. It is initially quite intriguing but becomes more so as the play progresses. The performers stand in front of the microphones and reveal the various characters by voice only with the help of the sound effects, also done on stage. If you wish to hear this good production, don’t turn on your radio but go to the Nash Theatre.

For the most part, director Philippa Dwyer has chosen a good cast which was able to vocally display the various differences in the characters they were portraying – just into the microphones. The main characters were Nick Charles and his wife Nora, played by Ian Bielenberg and Sharon White respectively. They held the play together but Ian could be a little more emotive in his role.  The other cast members were Robert Connaughton, Bruce Edgerton, Jessica Fletcher, Gary Kilger and Natasha McDonald – and Laura McIntosh on sound effects. Bruce Edgerton started us off as the announcer for Lux Radio Theatre and set the tone well. Jessica Fletcher needs to increase her volume but made a brilliant dog in the family. There were at times a mixture of accents which needs to be eradicated and everyone should stand in front of the “microphone” they are using.

For the most part, these performers had very good expressive voices which they used fully to keep the audience absorbed. Congratulations to all involved as Nash has pushed its annual presentation of a Radio Play to an even higher level. Oh, my detective work failed again.

William Davies

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