Rumours (British version)
Paul Johnson | 26 May 2015 14:21pm
Eurovision or Cygnet’s annual play? No contest. Neil Simon’s Rumours scored significantly more points than this year’s GB entry into obscurity.
What a venue to put on a play! This beautiful Church is a shining example of Theatre and local spaces working together to produce a memorable evening of entertainment. If you haven’t been, I urge you to look out for the next production and enjoy the whole experience of this mix of Theatre and unusual space.
This was a very slick and impressive directorial debut for Adam Walker, taking on a farce is daunting for most directors, let alone your first play. This was truly an ensemble piece with some outstanding performances and cast very well.
As with most farces it is a contrived plot line that would take up most of this review if I tried to explain it. Suffice to say it is a dinner party that has four couples, five if you count the host and hostess, (who we do not get to see) There is of course the obligatory policeman at the end to neatly tie up loose ends and allow a play to come to a quicker conclusion, although in this case it was Mark Smith’s beautifully controlled monologue that wrapped things up.
Mark’s whole performance (Len Cummings) was a pleasure to watch, with a lovely rich velvety voice and characterisation that was a sort of young Donald Sinden crossed with a manic Rik Mayall. Sarah Grey who played Claire Cummings would be comfortable on any professional stage and was a joy to watch and oozed confidence and gave a wonderfully sassy, elegant performance.
Jonny Clines (Ken Bevans) and Aimee Parnell (Chris Bevans) were tasked with opening the storyline and this pairing worked well together and hauled the sometimes sagging plotline through to the end.
Ernest and Cookie Cusack were nicely played by Jon Bradley and Alison Walters, although I found Ernest to be a bit two dimensional and twee. Glen and Cassie Cooper were beautifully played and controlled by Russell Hughes and Phoebe Gafsen-Morriss and probably had the most difficult roles as these were the nearest characters to real people in the whole play.
PC Conklin and Casey were handled well by Liam Walls and Zoe Dobell, although I have to say that the ‘Stock’ policeman acting from Liam was either a writing issue, directorial failing or an actor playing it completely wrong, all that was missing was ‘ello, ‘ello, ‘ello. The helmet and Police costume was a wardrobe failing, although Zoe was adequately dressed as a WPC.
The set and lighting were very well put together and although there were a couple of dark spots on the stage, this did not detract from the overall result. Yes there were a few times when the actors stood in straight lines but both the director and actors should look out for that. A couple of times, cues were not picked up quickly, but this was handled well by this ensemble and it showed what confidence they had in each other not to let it throw them, but I am nit-picking here; overall a treat to watch and my 14-year-old son who accompanied me commented ‘I’m glad we watched this instead of Eurovision’ praise indeed from one so young.
A final point, which is a ‘bug bear’ of mine, I don’t care whether it is an ‘amateur’ production but to see cast members in the bar drinking with friends before the performance and announcing that ‘I’m not on till the second half’ is a massive no, no.
- : admin
- : 20/05/2015