In The Spirit of Murder

Eric Blyth rehearses for 'In the Spirit of Murder' by Townsville playwright Teri Galea-Thorne IMAGE: Martin Hodgson

A banana fetish.
A tea addiction.
An attraction to panic.

‘Murder mystery’ probably isn’t the first thing that springs to mind upon reading this list, but local Playwright/Director Teri Galea-Thorne is the first to admit her mind works in mysterious ways.

Townsville’s Teri Galea, Writer and Director of ‘In the Spirit of Murder’. IMAGE: Martin Hodgson

Teri’s next play to grace the local stage, In the Spirit of Murder, is one of six full-length plays she’s penned in the last 12 months. The show follows the highly dysfunctional Van Rooken household, a group of six characters engaged in a battle of strangely contrasting objectives, and one dead body.

Teri said while she had originally set out to pen a more traditional murder mystery, In the Spirit of Murder ultimately took a different direction.

“People who read my earlier drafts said it’s got those farcical elements – ‘a little tweak here and a little change there, you could make it into a farce’,” said Teri.

“I’d always wanted to write a farce so that’s what I did.

“It was actually inspired by a four-second segment of Heart and Souls [the 1993 film starring Robert Downey Jr.] One character simply said ‘You are a dead man’ and that’s what sparked the entire play.”

It’s not the first time Teri has found inspiration in an unlikely place.

“I’ve got a Physics for Dummies book; I read the first paragraph and I got an idea, so I put the book aside and wrote the play instead,” she said. “I can’t read anything because it just sparks ideas of ‘this’ll work!’.

“Another play Shaming of Pot Luck was sparked by the audition for Townsville Little Theatre’s Bloody Murder. I went to the audition and Director Eric Blyth was asking what parts we wanted to read for. One person said ‘oh I’ll just take pot luck’ and Eric goes ‘we don’t have a character called pot luck’. I said ‘well you can just create one’ and so I did.”

Teri will be at the helm of bringing her own work to life when she directs In The Spirit of Murder this December and, with some of Townsville’s most exciting young actors and experienced regulars, it will be one worth catching.

In the Spirit of Murder will be presented by Townsville Little Theatre at PIMPAC on 5-8 December 2018. Click here for tickets.

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