All Is Not As It Seems

Date 6th October 2022
Society Compton Little Theatre
Venue Compton Village Hall
Type of Production Musical
Director Stephen Pugh & Lucy Watson


Author: Graham Botterill

The Two Plays and a Supper format is usually a sure-fire way to pull in the punters and guarantee an enjoyable evening. Compton Little Theatre’s All Is Not As It Seems was no exception. 

The lovely Village Hall was cosy and crammed full with an enthusiastic and hungry audience. Front of House were friendly and efficient. Jo Ashford, Rhona Wilkie and their team provided us with a delicious meal of Lasagne followed by Victoria Sponge. However, it was a bit disconcerting to find that both dishes featured as the possible murder weapon in the first play !

Murder at Twilight Gardens by Damian Trasler

The stage showed a good representation of a retirement home; complete with four, huge, high armchairs and a large whiteboard. A table and chairs were set behind them; and more furniture was placed in front during the play. Lighting and sound were good…particularly the sinister ring-tone.

The crowded stage did rather inhibit the activities of the Activities Supervisor and residents, but certainly not their spirits. The ladies kept up a strong pace, were confident with their dialogue and hit us with plenty of good one-liner jokes. Andy Smith was suitably odious as Frankie and Gordon Ayshford was Marco, the sinister chef. All characters were distinctively played.

This was an amusing whodunit, that kept us guessing right up to the end.

Airfield by Bob Tucker

Airfield was a very different proposition. It had a surreal style to it: with Yettie Airways’ hilarious announcements and machinations; and a bizarre collection of accents from the economy airline’s sole staff member, Glenda. She was played by Mandy Scully with great enthusiasm and humour.

Jane Bryant was very plausible as Lucy, a jaded housewife who longed for adventures abroad, instead of the usual trip to Clacton-on-Sea. Despite all the problems and cancellations, she maintained her optimism.

Ian Creese played Lucy’s selfish, stick-in-the-mud husband, Fred. His frustration and weariness was delightfully played as their delays and problems mounted. With no furniture whatsoever, there was no opportunity for them to rest.

A final twist in the tale enabled everyone to go off to the holiday that they desired. It was a funny and exuberant production that kept us laughing.

Lighting and sound were good again; and costumes were well chosen for both of the plays.

We suffered no after-effects from our splendid dinner; and, like everyone else, enjoyed a lovely light-hearted evening.