Tone Death is an enjoyable hour of catchy harmonies, strong performances, and delightful design from a talented cast and crew of Monash students and alumni.
It follows the story of a comedian who dies during his set, and joins the ghosts that inhabit the theatre. Eventually, they confront a shadowy force that lives in the theatre.
The acting really shines, with standout performances from Alice Pryor and Jorja Polglase who both embodied their characters fantastically. It was a joy to watch Pryor frolic around the stage, and it would have been lovely to hear more songs from her. Polglase brought everything and more to her villain and I wish I had gotten to see even more of her fantastic stage presence.
Unfortunately on the night I saw the show, Ursula Searle who plays the main character, Ruth, was ill. So the show’s composer Earl Marrows, had to step in, script in hand. The announcement at the beginning of the show stated that he was a pianist, not a soprano, but his performance was still delightful, and his comfort on stage and with the text made the night a memorable one, and clearly highlighted his skill as a theatre-maker.
Marrows also composed the music, and the kitschy tunes suit this show well. The accompaniment could have been more exciting and varied, but the melodies and overall sound was top-notch.
The cohesive makeup and costume design from Dil Kaur elevated the performances, especially complimenting Jorja’s character. The sound and lighting design from Georgie Wolfe was also particularly effective, although limited due to the requirements of The Butterfly Club.
All considered, Tone Death was an enjoyable way to spend an evening with a nice mix of comedy, music, and spectacle.
Tone Death: A Ghost Musical is playing at The Butterfly Club as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival until Sunday 21st April.