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Bothered & Bewildered

Date

2nd October 2016

Society

Crompton Stage Society

Venue

Playhouse 2 Shaw

Type of Production

Play

Director

Charles Foster

Report

Author: Sharon Drummond

A simple set with good use of props this play tackled the emotional problems of Altzeimers and the pebble in the pond effect on a family struggling to deal with the issues when a family member has this.

Humerous in places the play tackles the emotional and heartfelt emotions with a sensitivity and reality which most audience members could resonate with.

The direction worked really well with the simple staging and the acting was very believable. The action was never held up for re setting the stage as everything was set from the beginning or from Act 2.

The Barbara Cartland character was a source of much of the humour and was played so well by Anne Wright with her over the top costumes and outdated language. Anne’s diction, projection and acting were beautifully portrayed in this role.

Maye Battersby played both Shelley and Young Irene. Maye had lovely characterisations on both parts and very touching scenes with Nathan Simpson who played Jim. Both young people looked the part and portrayed the characters well.

Beth was very well played by Catherine Sharp the sister who has less patience and a husband (who we never see) who is even less tolerant. Catherine portrayed a daughter who struggles to juggle all the needs of her family with great emotional depth and many comic lines. This was a well executed part with strong characterisation.

Liz Travis played the softer daughter Louise who takes her mother into her own home when she can no longer look after herself. Liz played this part beautifully and tugged on the heartstrings with her portrayal. Her delivery of the part felt very real and portrayed the days of dealing with a parent with Altzeimers to be very up and down with many funny moments but many thought provoking problems to deal with.

Molwyn Ashley was utterly brilliant as Irene who talks to Barbara Cartland and is being consumed by the disease. Her attention to detail and characterisation of this part was totally true and mesmerising. Her confusion and anxiety were not just narrated by her but delivered with great sensitivity. This was a touching performance and one that clearly had been researched and learnt with a high commitment to the part.

My guest and I shed tears for the portrayals as both of us (and I suspect  most of the  audience) have experienced parents or grandparents who have  or are  being  affected by this cruel disease.

Well done to all involved in this touching play which I had not seen before and which gave us plenty to discuss after the performance.