JACK AND THE BEANSTALK
Article in Nottingham Evening Post
LORD ARTHUR SAVILE'S CRIME
THE GHOST TRAIN
THE TITFIELD THUNDERBOLT
TITFIELD TO MALLINGFORD
Watched The Titfield Thunderbolt last night and what a thoroughly enjoyable journey it was.
Right from the off I was greeted by the station master offering me a ride on the bus or the train. With the audience cleverly laid out into Train and Bus Passengers I knew I was in for a fun ride and I wasn't disappointed.
Lois Penniston's ingenious direction turned a very wordy piece into a fun filled frolic. Astute use of sound effects made by the cast, actors jumping off trains and whizzing backwards through the audience, and the actors involvement with the audience itself kept us paying passengers entertained and in no danger of derailing.
The accents were effective with several actors seizing the opportunity to demonstrate their versatility in portraying two totally different roles. One stand out performance among many for me was Andrew Beavis's drunken Mr Valentine. I'm not sure what research was involved in portraying this so precisely but it worked and not only was the slurring consistent but it was also legible.
The sweet relationship between Joan Weech (Kathryn Stacey) and Harry Crump (Daniel McLaughlin) was believable from the first moment we saw Harry jealously glaring, as Mr Valentine made a pass at Joan in the pub scene and was topped off with the classic and most memorable throwaway line I've ever heard - "God I love that woman!"
All the actors excelled in their roles and a special mention has to go to Mo Beavis for her amazing memory of such complicated dialogue.
The set design was skilfully thought out and constructed, serving a multitude of purposes. Lighting and smoke effects added well to the drama and authenticity of the piece.
Congratulations go to Adam Carpenter for his accomplished original opening soundtrack, which was a mixture of actors voices, music and singing. It really set the mood and from the moment it began, it was full steam ahead. (Mind you I can't get Titfield to Mallingford out of my head now!!!)
All in all a very enjoyable evening and if you didn't book a ticket for the thunderbolt, sadly you've missed the last stop.
Well done to all cast and crew.
Well done indeed as Mo (or rather Lady Edna) remarked! Keep shovelling that coal and filling up the water tank, you're on track for a 'railly' good final night! Andy is a brilliant drunk, he must get in a lot of practice; and Jon, best role you've had! Must be a nice change from panto monster! Sorry we weren't a very loud audience (apart from the bus passengers on the back seats), we were more of a discerning one!
TEENAGERS IN LOVE
"We much enjoyed the Friday performance of 'Teenagers In Love'. It provoked so many memories of our teenage years, with all the fears and insecurities. Well done to all the excellent cast for their hard work and dedication. We look forward to the next production. Keep up the good work folks!!!"
All best wishes Jenny and Frank.
Lady Windermere's Fan
FAN-TASTIC - ACTORS DRIVE 'EM WILDE!
ALBION Church Music and Drama Society spurned the usual amateurs' choice of a small cast, one-set comedy last night and presented Oscar Wilde's 19th-century costume drama "Lady Windermere's Fan"
Sweetly spoken Hilary Edwards convinces as Lady Windermere whose married happiness is threatened as she discovers too much about the mysterious Mrs Erlynne, who is rather too youthful but charmingly acted by Shirley Towle.
The men come into their own later in the play in Wilde's brilliantly witty third act. It is as amusing as ever, judging by the audience response.
The production is a rewarding attempt at what is a difficult subject. There are further performances tonight and tomorrow.
THE NEW RUDDIGORE
RUDDIGORE CLAD IN TRENDY CLOAK
Evening Post Review
Once you accept that Gilbert and Sullivan's Ruddigore is superior pantomime you can update it without spoiling it's essence. Albion Music and Drama Group have done just that. The 'New Ruddigore' has Robin (Peter Roper) as a barbour clad yuppie, Sir Despard Murgatroyd (David Gyles) as a beach photographer and Mad Margaret (Jean Norwebb) as a bag lady. Rose Maybud is a very funny portrayal by Jeannie Eadie and Duncan Towle lends strong support as Richard Dauntless. The chorus of maidens becomes a YTS bridesmaid's course and the men, city business gents. There is also a punch and judy booth and a group of WI ladies. Between them Neil and Jacqui Marriott have conceived, designed and produced the show. Neil plays the score on a synthesiser and it works surprisingly well. The singers seem confident with it, even if occasionally the words get lost. Jacqui's direction and choreography is never less than inventive. The set is smashing, a seaside promenade including splendid lamps and coloured lights, that spills over the stage into the auditorium. Musically and theatrically it is a most enjoyable evening. The New Ruddigore continues at The Dales United Reformed Church Hall, Parkdale Road, until Saturday.
The Six Faces Of Henry
From Impro to Stage
The Birth of Henry's Six Faces
When we first considered a workshop production we, none of us, had any idea of what would be involved, or even a thought of a subject. After much consideration we hit upon Henry VIIIth, not only because it offered a wealth of dramatic material (almost too much at times) but because it gave opportunity for a good variety of women's parts - always a problem when planning a production.
It was decided to combine our workshop with a drama training course and over the months, between learning about lighting, make-up, stage management etc., the group has researched, discussed, planned, directed and acted the stories of Henry's six wives.
From the tape recordings of these improvisations, John Norwebb and I were able to produce final scripts based entirely upon the group's ideas. In addition, the whole group has made it's own decisions about the structure and staging of the production. One exciting result has been to show up some unexpected talent in acting, directing and perhaps even, in the future, scriptwriting, whilst one young lady is having her first "go" in the lighting box.
So far as we are aware, there are no historic mistakes in the production. However, in the interests of dramatic art we have reserved the right to omit, condense and occasionally to slightly distort some of the facts. If, therefore, we have ardent historians among our audience, we would ask them to suspend belief for one evening and sit back and enjoy what we hope will be good entertainment.
I, for one have throughly enjoyed what was, to me, a completely new theatrical experience and I am sure that the rest of the group would agree with me. It has certainly brought a new level of involvement from those taking part. We hope that you will agree that it has been worthwhile and that you will enjoy the results of this experience with us.
JACK AND THE BEANSTALK.