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Veronica’s Room

Past Show

Veronica's Room


This chilling mystery thriller by the author of ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ explores the thin line between fantasy and reality, madness and murder.

Students Susan and Larry are enticed to the Brabissant mansion by its dissolute caretakers the Mackeys. Lots of game playing, duplicity and a sinister, creepy foreboding. There are a number of stunning surprises.


Keith Hutton

Keith Hutton


Keith’s 54-year love affair with the stage has resulted in over 130 theatre productions in both Australia and the UK, predominantly as a performer. However, over the past 15 years he has also directed a number of productions, most recently at Malvern Theatre Company with DEATHTRAP in 2023. He has previously appeared on the Mordialloc stage in ‘ALLO, “ALLO!, JOURNEY’S END and THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST as well as directing OUT OF ORDER in 2019. Other directing ventures have included THE LAST ROMANCE at Williamstown Little Theatre, ‘TIL BETH DO US PART at 1812 Theatre and ONE FOR THE POT at Beaumaris Theatre.

Stephanie King

The Woman

Stephanie King

Stephanie is delighted to be making her Mordialloc Theatre Company debut in Ira Levin’s dark play, VERONICA’S ROOM and working with all the lovely people who are contributing to bringing this play to life. Stephanie’s other roles include Sheila in SHOE-HORN SONATA, Tzawrah Shotsky in CHAIM’S LOVE SONG, Lady Millicent Metcalfe in BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT all with 1812 Theatre, Shirley Valentine in SHIRLE VALENTINE with Williamstown Little Theatre, Patricia Highsmith in SWITZERLAND at The Mount Players, Miss Emily Brent in AND THEN THERE WERE NONE with Malvern Theatre Company and Susan/Mum in RUBEN GUTHRIE with Sunshine Community Theatre and 1812 Theatre.

Brett Whittingham

The Man

Brett Whittingham

Brett has performed in over 40 stage productions and tours, including THE LARAMIE PROJECT a Greenroom Award Winner, STANDING ON CEREMONY and DIRTY DUSTING and most recently in ART, FABULOSO and DEATHTRAP. This is Bretts second production with Mordialloc Theatre Company having performed in AND THEN THERE WHERE NONE earlier this year. Brett has appeared in numerous short films and web series including the award winning LAST SEEN ALIVE and his self-produced comedy web-series, PROJECT MANAGEMENT. Most recently he was in Queensland filming a role in the upcoming horror film THE RED and he has just finished filming the fifth season of FLUNK.

Travis Handcock

The Young Man

Travis Handcock

This is Travis’ second time treading the boards at Mordialloc Theatre Company, his first playing George in OUT OF ORDER in 2019. Travis also directed our first season this year: AND THEN THERE WERE NONE. He has been acting and directing for over fifteen years since completing a Bachelor of Arts in 2007. He has worked at many theatres across Greater Melbourne and has toured in both New South Wales and Singapore. Last year, he was invited to work with Oscar award-winning writer Rex Pickett in New Zealand on a staged reading of SIDEWAYS (THE MUSICAL). In 2016, he co-founded FizzWack Theatre when the company reprised their Victorian Drama League award-winning production of RUBEN GUTHRIE.

Amy Penning

The Girl

Amy Penning

Amy has studied the Acting Essentials course at 16th Street Actors Studio in 2023. She has also taken improvisation classes with Impro Melbourne and ImprovMafia and has performed in MICETRO and THEATRESPORTS shows in 2021 to 2023. Amy has completed short courses with NIDA in Screen Acting and Classical Monologues and she also performed in HAMLET as Ophelia with Grover Theatre Company in 2022. At Eltham Little Theatre she has appeared in MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING as Hero and as Hope and Ginette in ALMOST MAINE in 2023.

Connie Bram

Stage Manager

Connie Bram

Connie brings a wealth of stage management experience to Veronica’s Room.


VDL Performance Review

Reviewed by Roderick Chappel
21 June 2024

Whom can we trust? Can we trust our own judgement, or ultimately be confident of our own realities, or even our own identities? These questions are explored in the 1973 mystery drama “Veronica’s Room” by Ira Levin (1929-2007). Levin, a prolific American playwright and novelist, also wrote the 1978 play “Deathtrap” and the 1967 novel “Rosemary’s Baby”.

The programme introduces the audience to four characters: the Woman, the Man, the Young Man and the Girl. We are not told their actual names and, as the play’s story unfolds, we gradually come to understand why.

In 1973, student Susan Kerner had been eating at a restaurant with Larry, her new love interest, when they had been approached by an Irish couple, apparently in their sixties. The latter had introduced themselves as John and Maureen Mackey, caretakers to the prosperous Brabissant family. The Mackeys told Susan that the one surviving member of the family, Cissie, is elderly and in dementia, and believes that it is still 1935. They explained that they have approached Susan because of her strong resemblance to Cissie’s long deceased sister Veronica, whom Cissie believes is still alive.

John and Maureen Mackey have brought Susan and Larry to Veronica’s room, in the Brabissant home outside Boston. The room has been left untouched since Veronica’s death. The Mackeys ask Susan whether – to bring Cissie some solace – she would agree to dress as Veronica, and impersonate the Veronica of 1935. Despite her own and Larry’s reservations, Susan agrees. The play then goes in unexpected, and sinister, directions. Its many twists and turns make it challenging for both actors and directors.

I cannot explain much more without giving away the plot. However, I can reveal that each actor has to become quite different as the play progresses.

I was really impressed by Travis Handcock as the Young Man. Early in the play, he portrayed to perfection Susan’s new boyfriend, who was very negative about what the other characters were doing. His later character was strong, convincing and effective, and his dialogue was clear throughout. Brett Whittingham, as the Man, was also convincing in two sharply contrasting roles.

Amy Penning introduced the Girl – the assertive if slightly immature student Susan – with spirit and style. Then, when things suddenly began to go wrong for Susan, Amy gave an impassioned and very physical portrayal of the desperately distressed young woman. I thought, however, that this part of her performance would have been enhanced by more light and shade, more variation in pace and in expression. Despite the peril in which Susan finds herself, I believe that there would be scope for such enhancement.

Stephanie King, as the Woman, did a fine job with a very demanding role. The Woman’s second character is angry, bitter and vindictive. Perhaps even this character could occasionally have been pulled back a little, but the playwright gives an actress little help with this. The climax of the play involves the Woman alone, and Stephanie delivered this magnificently.

The set (designed by Janine Evans) was perhaps a little stark, but had interesting dimensions and was fit for purpose, supporting the play’s action. I thought it a pity, though, that the external window was in the stage left wall. It becomes apparent during the play that this window is barred, but much of the audience (including me) could not see this, and it had to be conveyed by the dialogue. Connie Bram was Stage Manager, lighting design was by Nathan Hood, and sound design was by Jasmine Tolentino.

This version of “Veronica’s Room” is one act of about 90 minutes. The continuity of a single act has advantages for such an emotionally-charged play. However, Levin’s original play had two acts, which I think would also have worked well.

Keith Hutton directed the play at a commendable pace, but I thought that this came at a cost. I like to hear every syllable, and I missed a few lines, especially early in the play from the Woman with her Irish accent. With no loss of audience engagement, the clarity of the dialogue might have been enhanced had the pace been held back just a little.

Despite my few quibbles, this was a very strong production, and a credit to director, cast and crew. I saw the play on opening night, and I expect that it will continue to evolve and improve throughout the season.