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BWW REVIEW: Tracey Trinder's KILLING KATIE: CONFESSIONS OF A BOOK CLUB Shines A Spotlight On The Complexities Of Female 'Friendships'

KILLING KATIE: CONFESSIONS OF A BOOK CLUB

BWW REVIEW:  Tracey Trinder's KILLING KATIE: CONFESSIONS OF A BOOK CLUB Shines A Spotlight On The Complexities Of Female 'Friendships'

Saturday 22nd January 2022, 8pm, Ensemble Theatre

Tracey Trinder's play KILLING KATIE: CONFESSIONS OF A BOOK CLUB is a hilarious and honest look at the realities of female relationships. Directed by Francesca Savige, this all-female cast takes a seemingly simple idea of a book club to share a humorous look at human behavior in the hope that people may look at how they treat each other and leave the psychological games of childhood in the school yard instead of carrying them into adulthood.

BWW REVIEW:  Tracey Trinder's KILLING KATIE: CONFESSIONS OF A BOOK CLUB Shines A Spotlight On The Complexities Of Female 'Friendships'
Georgina Symes & Bron Lim in KILLING KATIE at Ensemble Theatre - credit: Lisa Tomasetti

The premise of KILLING KATIE: CONFESSIONS OF A BOOK CLUB is that middle aged mothers Linda (Bron Lim) and Sam (Georgina Symes) have discovered that former friend and pseudo book-club 'leader' Robyn (Kate Raison) has written a new novel, of which the synopsis sounds eerily like a story they've lived, and the women are terrified at how the former book publisher has portrayed them. Presented in a series of flashbacks, the story, narrated by Linda, looks back at the events leading up to the day she and Sam are so worried about. Sam had recently invited her children's speech therapist Katie (Chantelle Jamieson) to join the book club, thinking the younger vibrant woman may be an enjoyable addition but ultimately aware that the lack of consultation with the club members was likely to sit uneasily with the staid Robyn. While Sam, Linda, and Robyn's mother Angela (Valerie Bader) enjoy the free speaking, confident Katie, Robyn is less than impressed. As the audience witnesses a series of the club meetings, the one-upmanship, jealousy, and bitchiness become less and less veiled, no matter how much Katie tries to deflect the distain, till it ends in tragedy.

BWW REVIEW:  Tracey Trinder's KILLING KATIE: CONFESSIONS OF A BOOK CLUB Shines A Spotlight On The Complexities Of Female 'Friendships'
Kate Raison & Chantelle Jamieson in KILLING KATIE at Ensemble Theatre - credit: Lisa Tomasetti

As the scenes move between the present and past, easily signposted in large neon, Tobhiyah Stone Feller's set has an easy simplicity to take the story from a pub to the memories of Robyn's living room, where the club meets. Flexible furniture allows for some items to remain constant, albeit adapted to the different environments while the addition of bold retro furniture and a series of oversized kitsch flying mallards reinforce that Robyn, a 42-year-old single woman still living with her mother, doesn't really connect with the world outside her work and her books. Similarly, the costuming ensures that 5 women's' characters are quickly understood, from the exercise addicted Sam activewear and fanny pack to Katie's fashionable colorful flowing styles and Robyn's neutral constrained attire.

BWW REVIEW:  Tracey Trinder's KILLING KATIE: CONFESSIONS OF A BOOK CLUB Shines A Spotlight On The Complexities Of Female 'Friendships'
Bron Lim, Valerie Bader & Chantelle Jamieson in KILLING KATIE at Ensemble Theatre - credit: Lisa Tomasett

Director Francesca Savige ensures this work retains an honesty within the humor so that the story remains relatable with many of the audience responding to the recognizable behavior patterns with knowing laughter. While there are a number of plays, television shows and movies dedicated to the teen 'queen bee' bitchiness and bullying, there arent as many stories of what happens when those girls turn into middle aged women. KILLING KATIE: CONFESSIONS OF A BOOK CLUB reinforces that despite the belief that with age comes wisdom and maturity, some women don't progress beyond the possessive and bossy nature that they've been allowed to perpetuate, at least not until something significant happens to jolt them into understanding there is more to life than the petty competitiveness that has dominated their world.

BWW REVIEW:  Tracey Trinder's KILLING KATIE: CONFESSIONS OF A BOOK CLUB Shines A Spotlight On The Complexities Of Female 'Friendships'
Chantelle Jamieson, Georgina Symes, Valerie Bader & Bron Lim in KILLING KATIE at Ensemble Theatre - credit: Lisa Tomasetti

With a hopeful and heartwarming underlying message and a liberal dose physical humor and the clever wordplay one would expect from a story about well read women, KILLING KATIE: CONFESSIONS OF A BOOK CLUB has the right balance of levity and sincerity required in a world needing a laugh but still wanting truth and honesty. Filled with a uniformly strong female cast this work is an enjoyable evening for audiences of all ages and genders.

https://www.ensemble.com.au/shows/killing-katie-confessions-of-a-book-club/

BWW REVIEW:  Tracey Trinder's KILLING KATIE: CONFESSIONS OF A BOOK CLUB Shines A Spotlight On The Complexities Of Female 'Friendships'
Kate Raison & Valerie Bader in KILLING KATIE at Ensemble Theatre - credit: Lisa Tomasetti


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