A Chorus of Disapproval

Date 7th November 2015
Society Richmond Amateur Dramatic Society
Venue Richmond Georgian Theatre Royal
Type of Production Play
Director Jim Brown

Report

Author: Peter Parlour

This play, by Alan Ayckbourn, is difficult to direct and perform.  It is based on a production of ‘The Beggars Opera’, and is very bitty, with short scenes introduced by short musical interludes, to set the scene. Richmond did a first-class job with many excellent performances particularly by Mike Walker who played  Dafydd ap Llewellyn, the producer of the play. He was really excellent, keeping his strong Welsh accent throughout the play. Guy Jones was excellent, playing Dan Cockett, a shy newcomer who wanted to be in the play. He was soon in great demand with the women, and did his best to fight them off. Hannah Llewellyn, the producer’s wife, very well played by Ann Greer, was the first to draw his attention.  Fay Hubbard, played by Julie Winn, also won his heart and was also very well played. The rehearsals were slow to get going with lots of interruptions and cast not turning up. [What’s changed] Some of the interruptions were caused by Jarvis Huntley- Pike who was concerned about a plot of land. He was very powerfully played by Doug Clayton. The prompt, Bridget Baines, was played by  Amanda  White very well indeed. She was in conflict with Linda Washbrook, very well played by Beki Stevenson. They really had a proper set-to, almost hair pulling out and had to be pulled apart, and this was very well done. Ian Hubbard, played by Gary Winn, seemed to be doing nothing except reading his paper, and couldn't care much about what his wife was doing, and was well played. Crispin Usher, played by Stewart Kerr was doing his best to sort them all out.  Mr and Mrs  Washbrook were well played by  Martin Ash and Norma Rogers respectively. They were all trying to get their piece done before leaving for a Dinner. Each of the cast took turns in singing the intros which was unaccompanied and all very well done. We had a small chorus who helped out with the singing namely Alex Caffery and Maggie  Collingburn.  Jim Brown said it was a very hard play to set, so no wonder it hasn’t been done very often, but really  Ayckbourn at his best. The play began with the cast taking their curtain calls, and ended  facing our audience in costume. Well done Richmond. Judging by the large audiences it was well received.