A Triple Bill of Short Comedies

Date 16th March 2022
Society Rustington Players
Venue Woodlands Centre, Rustington
Type of Production Play

Report

Author: Keith Smithers

Title       Between Mouthfuls
Director Rita Matthews
Written by Alan Ayckbourn

The first two plays of the evening were first performed nearly fifty years ago but nothing has been lost in the passage of time. Between Mouthfuls involves only five people - a waiter and two couples dining out. Neither couple knew that the other was coming and the many laughs derive from the fact that one husband and the other wife had been on a clandestine holiday together without the knowledge of their spouses. The waiter (Zahir White) had the unenviable job of serving both couples who spent nearly all of their time arguing. Donald Pearce (Jason Evans),  the pompous company boss, used his best efforts to try and persuade his straight-laced wife Emma (Emily Dadson) that he had really been on a business trip even though his wife had many suspicions about the hotel stay. Martin (Ben Cassan), the social climber, does not really take much notice of his wife Polly (Claire Cossins)  at any time - not even when he finds out that she had been on holiday with the boss. He still was more concerned with work prospects and climbing the social ladder. All the parts were cast and characterised well. What was very well done were the parts where they changed from dialogue to mime and back again as the plot alternated between couples.  

Title    Mother Figure
Director Jane Vrettos
Written by Alan Ayckbourn

Mother Figure only involves three people - Lucy, a mother (Veryan Jennings), Rosemary (Maureen Ayres) a rather timid older lady and her rather bossy husband Terry (Bernard Doogan). Lucy spends so much time in looking after children that she even treats adults in the same manner as her offspring. Her neighbours suffer the same treatment. When I read this in the synopsis of this play, I thought how very silly. It was silly but unbelievably funny as well. The three characters in this production brought out all the humour needed.

Title    Lockdown in Little Grimley
Director Vinny Shepherd
Written by David Tristram

Lockdown in Little Grimley is the latest in a series of plays about an amateur dramatic society. Although part of a series, each one can be enjoyed as a single entity. The scenario in this particular writing is the re-opening of the society after lockdown. The four mainstays of the society meet to discuss the outline of the director’s new imagination. Gordon (John Shepherd) is the strong character wanting to push ahead with his ambitious plans. The society’s leading lady, Margaret (Helen Chewter) wants to influence Gordon’s script in order that her acting abilities are maximised. Joyce (Nadya Henwood), the down-trodden secretary, just tries to please everybody. Bernard (Jason Evans) is not an actor but is the odd-job man for the society and performances. All four gave an excellent portrayal of the goings-on in an amdram committee meeting.  There were many laughs and hilarity throughout.

The sets were simple but effective for each section. The lighting and sound was straight-forward and worked well. Costumes were all in keeping with the people and time settings.  Congratulations to all on stage, all three directors and all backstage crew.