ON WITH THE SHOW: Red Cliffs Players Death by Chocolate cast members Traci Macleod and Douglas Schneider ahead of opening night. Photo: PAUL MENSCH

THE Red Cliffs Players are gearing up for the launch of their latest dinner production, ‘Death By Chocolate’, to be staged at the Cardross Hall later this month.

Written by Paul Freed, and directed by Susanne Pendock, Death By Chocolate has been described as “a real crowd-pleaser.”

Promising plenty of humour, the ‘whodunit’ murder mystery is set in a newly-refurbished health resort, where staff are busy preparing for the grand opening.

Lady Riverdale, famous for her chocolate company, has snapped up the health resort following the death of the previous owner, and has put the organisation into the hands of John Stone, played by Ian McMahon. 

The rest of the cast of characters comprises a magazine reporter, a celebrity chef, an aerobics instructor, a sleazy standover merchant and a mystery writer.

Also in residence is the long-suffering maintenance man.

The cast includes Cassandra Bicker, Douglas Schneider, Alison McGann, Traci Macleod, Adam Decker, Emily Leon, Michael Gigg, Jaiden Iamarino, Josh Mahoney, Eva Berry and Nell Banks-Purnell.

Susanne said the Players had been working on the production since late August.

“The play features a lot of sick jokes,” she said with a smile. “Not to mention a death in the first few minutes!”

Cast member Douglas Schneider, meanwhile, described it as “deliberately silly.”

“It also has some really good twists,” he said.

Susanne added that she quite likes the fact that the audience is caught up in the plot to determine who is responsible for the murders taking place.

“It’s good when you read a script like this and you do get a surprise,” she said. “The gags kick in from the get-go.”

The dinner show runs on November 15, 16, 21, 22 and 23 from 7.30pm, with a midday matinee scheduled for November 17.

Tickets for the matinee and Thursday night performances are $35 ($245 for a table of eight), while all other performances are $40 ($280 for a table of eight).

All performances include a meal. Doors open 30 minutes prior.

Bookings are essential, with tickets available online at www.trybooking.com/BFONK or from Green Goddess Flowers (Tenth Street, Mildura).