BAREFOOT IN THE PARK

Date 18th January 2013
Society Helens Bay Players
Venue St.Johns Church Hall, Helens Bay, Co. Down
Director Anna Phipps

Report

Author: Sheelagh Hobart

A Neil Simon play is rather more subtle than the Players usual farces, encouraging titters rather than belly laughs. Action, relocated from New York to 1960s London, opened to a small bare top floor flat to which Connie and Paul Bratter arrived after their honeymoon. The many flights of stairs were emphasised in hilarious fashion by elderly delivery man (Trevor McLucas) who needed no dialogue to express his exhaustion after the climb! Also showing clear signs of exhaustion, telephone man William Hunter arrived, installing and pronouncing pearls of wisdom to the bride! Appearing  again in the 3rd act William’s facial expressions were a picture

Mother of the bride, Mrs Banks, was convincingly played by experienced actress Philippa Cornick – particularly effective when slightly inebriated!  Kevin Quinn put his heart and soul into the role of crazy Italian neighbour Victor Valesco – to excellent comedic effect.

The first half was a little slow but things really warmed up after the interval.  Principals Clare Childs and Steve Emerson as newlyweds Corrie and Paul showed the rollercoaster of emotions that can beset couples in their developing relationships.

The stage crew in dungarees and flat caps “delivered” furniture from wings and auditorium before Act 2 opening, a nice touch.  Attention was paid to authentic props and to the set, which included a convincing attic window.

The National President of Noda had planned to attend the play with me but unfortunately was  grounded in Cardiff by heavy snow.