The Hollow – REVIEW
Image: Natalie Reid and Chad Traupmann in THE HOLLOW, Genesian Theatre Company. Image: supplied

Nobody does Christie quite like the Genesian; their current production, The Hollow is evidence of that. With beautifully detailed sets, costumes, and props, intuitively chosen incidental music, and a cast who are committed and convincing in their roles, The Hollow is a veritable homage to the great dame of murder mystery. 

Christie wrote the novel, The Hollow, as an Hercule Poirot mystery but later regretted introducing her famous Belgian detective into the story. It is said that she actually hated the Poirot character. It’s no surprise then, that when she adapted the story for the stage, she dismissed Poirot in favour of a new Scottish detective character, Inspector Coquelhoun. 

Cast, THE HOLLOW, Genesian Theatre Company. Image: supplied

The Hollow is set in the home of Lady Lucy Angkatell (Penny Day) and Sir Henry Angkatell (Vincent O’Neill) who are planning to receive guests for the weekend. Henrietta Angkatell (Jess Davis), Henry’s younger cousin and a sculptor, is staying at the house. 

Another young cousin, Midge Harvey (Cariad Weitnauer) is the first guest to arrive. She is energetic and vibrant and evidently much grown since the last time most of the other characters had seen her. 

Emily Saint Smith, Thomas Southwell, Cariad Weitnauer, THE HOLLOW, Genesian Theatre Co. Image: supplied

Adding to the line-up of cousins, Edward Angkatell (Tom Southwell) arrives next. It becomes evident that Edward has a strong unrequited fondness for Henrietta, and that Midge has an equally strong, also unrequited fondness for Edward. 

The final guests to arrive are John Cristow (Chad Traupmann) and his wife, Gerda (Emily Smith). John is a renowned surgeon and a pompous, patronising egoist, being especially dismissive of his wife. For her part, Gerda is obsequious, completely devoted to John. As the guests settle in, it transpires that John and Henrietta are having an affair. 

Vincent O’Neill and Jess Davis in THE HOLLOW, Genesian Theatre Company. Image: supplied

Further into the plot we meet, Veronica Craye (Alannah Robertson), a luscious, sultry film star who has moved into the property next door. We soon learn that Veronica and John have a history dating back ten years and they soon pick up where they left off. 

Last but absolutely not least among the main characters is Mrs Gudgeon (Emily Saint Smith), the housekeeper who, as is often the case in Christie stories, has a prominent place in the household and the narrative. 

Chad Traupmann and Alannah Robertson in THE HOLLOW, Genesian Theatre Company. Image: supplied

The murder occurs just before intermission. In the second half we meet 

Inspector Coquelhoun (Chad Traupmann in a dual role), and Sergeant Penny (Natalie Reid). More skeletons are discovered in the closet, there are twists and turns and revelations. The resolution is both predictable and unexpected. 

It’s a lovely production with plenty of laughs and lots of charm

Until September 23

Genesian Theatre, 420 Kent St, Sydney

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