Play debuts at revamped Garrick Theatre in Guildford

Pearce McGrogan is Neville Smallwood and Anna Head is Celia Wallis in the mystery thriller Silhouette at Garrick Theatre.
Pearce McGrogan is Neville Smallwood and Anna Head is Celia Wallis in the mystery thriller Silhouette at Garrick Theatre.

GUILDFORD’s boutique Garrick Theatre is back in business after several months of renovations by the City of Swan.

The Australian premiere of Silhouette by Simon Brett and directed by Fred Petersen is a mystery thriller first performed in Guildford, England, in 1997.

Playwright Simon Brett is a popular English television and mystery writer, best known for his four series of detective novels (Charles Paris, Mrs Pargeter, Fethering and Blotto and Twinks).

In Silhouette, the play opens with a detective questioning an actor about the murder of her husband.

She is in the clear, but a drunken journalist sleeping in her bed had argued with him shortly beforehand.

The second half of the play is set before the murder and all expectations about the characters and plot are turned on their heads.

“As a thriller, Silhouette has several aspects that keep you guessing as to who might be the murderer,” director Petersen said.

“Coupled with some specific lighting moods, it makes for an unexpected ending that proves sometimes all is not what it seems or appears to be.

“The mood of the play has to be established with lighting, sounds and the characters being believable.

“A couple of special effects certainly enhance the intrigue and, because the play goes back in time, getting both acts to connect is not as easy as it seems.

“The visual aspect of the murder has to be seen by the audience to ensure they follow the time reversal.”

Starting out with a revue company in 1956, Petersen performed at his His Majesty’s Theatre in Oklahoma before appearing with Bobby Limb and Dawn Lake in their Tonight at Eight shows in the late ’50s.

He joined Garrick Theatre in 1976 and has been involved as an actor, director, writer and set builder on a variety of productions over the past 38 years, also directing plays at Marloo Theatre and acting at Limelight and Melville Theatres.

Petersen has received Garrick’s best play award four times and was named best director for Cash on Delivery at the annual Finley Awards.

Most recently, he directed Pardon Me, Prime Minister and Panic Stations.

“I read the synopsis for Silhouette on the internet and was immediately taken by the intrigue that weaves its way through the plot,” Petersen said.

Silhouette plays at 8pm November 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 27, 28, December 2, 3, 4 and 5 with a 2pm matinee November 29.

Tickets are $20, $17 concession and $15 children and members – book on 9378 1990 or bookings@garricktheatre.asn.au.

Garrick Theatre is at 16 Meadow Street, Guildford.