A Twist in The Tale (five short plays)

Date 24th November 2016
Society Stevenage Lytton Players
Venue The Lytton Theatre
Type of Production Plays
Director Allie Neal


Author: Vicki Avery

A Twist In The Tale is a collection of short plays directed by first time director Allie Neal. An accomplished and multitalented actress in her own right, Allie put her wealth of experience on the other side of the table and directed a company of eleven.

The five plays ranged from the well-known “The Monkey’s Paw” by W. W. Jacobs to the slightly lesser known Stanley Haughton and his play “The Dear Departed.”

All eleven players showed their versatility, with some playing more than one role. Characters were carefully cast and gave the players the opportunity to demonstrate good technique in both characterization and voice quality. Diction was good and accents secure.

The stage was very cleverly worked, with each change of set convincingly accommodating the period of the play itself. Subtle touches such as a change of wall mounted décor, hiding a window and rearranging incidental furniture gave the audience a fresh aspect to each play.

Props were well chosen. Where did you get that shrunken paw from?!!

Costumes for the most part suited the era although I felt that the father’s costume in “The Dear Departed” was too modern when the remainder had a Victorian feel about them.

Direction was clear and justified however it is not always necessary to place main items of furniture center stage. Experiment with different angles and allow your cast to use the furniture as if it were in their own homes. You will soon find out what looks natural and what doesn’t. Diagonal lines and curves are more interesting and pleasing to the eye rather than straight lines and sitting, leaning or even crouching down in more intimate moments will give a more natural and less contrived feel to the piece.

All in all this was an excellent first time directorial challenge and an enjoyable evenings entertainment. The selection of plays was well chosen and placed in the right order. I look forward to witnessing your next challenge as I am sure there will be many more to come.

Thank you for looking after me so well.