Killing Katie: Confessions of a Book Club – a theatre review by Hila Tsor

January 24, 2022 by Hila Tsor
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Killing Katie: Confessions of a Book Club begins through the narrative voice of Linda (Bron Lim) who meets up with her fitness obsessed friend Sam Andrews (Georgina Symes) to talk about the past, and present.

Photo: Lisa Tomasetti

This is a hilarious and tragic story that follows friendships, and the jealousy, and competition that exists within friendship dynamics.

The women used to belong to a book club together, that was largely run and controlled by the rigid and plain Robin (Kate Raison) who has published a book that alludes to their past actions.

The pink neon signs on the stage take us through time lapses of the character’s current lives, and their past memories and selves. The past is clouded in mystery, guilt and … a fear of olives.

Present Linda and Sam are anxiety ridden and determined to figure out what Robin has said about them in her book, and whether she blamed that mysterious night on them. Past Linda and Sam are sitting at their monthly book club meet, with Robin and Robin’s mum, as Sam announces that she invited Katie to join the book club.

Katie (Chantelle Jamieson), is bubbly, beautiful, carefree with an infectious laughter and high energy. Robin is plain, unadventurous, serious. Their personalities are a stark contrast, like their opinions on novels. The characters make it easy to symphonize with Robin despite her flaws and her plan to kick Katie out of the book club – after all, we all know what it’s like to feel inferior, to be jealous of someone seemingly perfect, to wish we could be more fun and adventurous. To wish we could be more like someone else. Everyone has been in a situation where a newcomer has joined their friendship group and have had their friendships tested as a result. This highly relatable comedy explores these tensions.

Grief, and the impact of death, and the way a single person can touch your life so profoundly is also touched on. Tracey Trinder beautifully blended complex characters with quick wit and banter to create a hilarious show that explored relatable and complicated topics.

Killing Katie is Trinder’s first and last play, due to her unexpected passing prior to the play’s opening. To honour her memory, Ensemble Theatre announced the Tracey Trinder Playwright’s Award, which is an award for an unproduced comedy or comedy drama written by a woman playwright. More details on the award will be available on the Ensemble website in February 2022.


Ensembe Theatre, Sydney until February 6

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