Crime, intrigue, mystery and humour in Benjamin Maio MacKay’s live radio play reading of the ‘Great Detectives of Old Time Radio Live’ at the Old 505 Theatre, Newtown.

MacKay’s production company Preachrs Podcast Online & OnStage presents a  revised and re-worked production of the Great Detectives of Old Time Radio Live, a hit at the Adelaide Fringe in 2015. The show re-creates the experience to the audience of the Golden Age of Radio, using the storylines of the long running detective radio shows of the 50’s era.

great-detectives-of-old-time-radio-1-850x455Two storylines from Candy Matson, the female private investigator that assists police in tales of murder, espionage and crime, derived from original real police files and cases and one from the detective series ‘Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar’. The radio show’s name was devised from the detective closing each show by ‘totalling his expense account’ and signing off as ‘Yours Truly’. Each night the performance was co-hosted by different personalities from the stage and tv. On the night of the review, Friday’s host was the comedian Adam Richard.

The cast of Eden Trebilco (Johnny Dollar), Julia Sciacca (Candy Matson), Jennifer Barry (various roles) and Benjamin Maio MacKay (Mallard, police detective) created an intriguing, dramatic, humorous, crime thriller of a night.

The production had a minimalist set, with a white backdrop, a table set for tea for the actors and co-host and an impressive large Old Time Gramophone.

2015-02-16-19-43-47-2The costumes were black suits and crisp frocks suited to the 50’s era, which contrasted with the minimal background, using four large vintage standing microphones and scripts as working props.

The three storylines were Candy Matson’s ‘Death On The Cable Car’, she was the main witness or possible suspect on the case, sitting next to the victim. Next up was ‘Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar’ as an insurance detective investigating a murder. Lastly, Candy Matson again, investigating the murder of a scientist with a secret formula, involving espionage and a mysterious cat called Jake.

27b66f669-e7da-2225-cef25c1e83ac372dThe actors demonstrated great storytelling skills using exceptional vocal talent, physical actions and gestures that brought the scripts to life. They were spot on with the sound effects, well timed and kept the performance fast paced, which kept the audience interested.

Julia Sciacca was exceptional as Candy Matson, witty, flirtatious creating her role with an authentic American radio voice of the 50’s era, as did the rest of the cast. There was no fault in the production, MacKay’s actors, storylines and direction kept the audience engaged and enthralled till the end. Benjamin Maio MacKay is a young talented producer and director of the show, an artist to watch out for the future. The production will tour nationally in Australia. A performance not to be missed.

Charlotte Hanson – Theatre Now and Talking Arts