|Date||5th July 2013|
|Society||Leighton Buzzard Drama Group|
|Venue||Leighton Buzzard Theatre|
|Type of Production||Play|
Author: Enid Cooper
This is the play version of the well known and well loved film of the same name and this is the first challenge the director has to face – the audience must be encouraged to put all previous knowledge aside and become involved in the story anew. Bob Jones very successfully met this challenge.
The staging was good and the change to the countryside inventive and slick, The final scene with the sunflowers was poignant and uplifting. This was a well thought out set which worked very effectively. Musical interludes were well chosen to reflect the theme of the play.
Bob was fortunate to be able to cast talented performers, all the cast performed well and are to be congratulated.
The WI members were thoroughly believable. They worked well as a team and individually brought much to the characters. Lauren Waters was excellent as the grief stricken but stoical Annie. Her friendship with Chris played by Kim Aguilar was convincing. Kim gave an exceptional performance as the woman who is gradually taken over by the publicity. The argument between Chris and Annie in Act Two was dramatic and compelling. Lainy Ward’s performance as Cora was outstanding. Lainy is a gifted comedy actress and here she demonstrated these talents. Her line delivery, sharp cueing and physical mannerisms brought so much humour to the play. Jan Delamore too added much comic colour as the retired schoolmistress, making her a more rounded and vivid person. Kelly Botham achieved much the same as Celia, a vibrant attractive performance. Emma Ballard as Ruth brought out so much of the character and added much humour in the process. This was a well observed performance. Each of these characters were individual and special, due to the acting skills of the cast.
Carl Russell’s John was a finely paced performance capturing the strength of the character and his decline. Renee Dulieu’s performance as Marie was superb, she added so much comedy. Her preparatory gymnastics for badminton were hilarious, here is another gifted comic actress. Andrew Ferguson’s Lawrence was another excellent performance, his embarrassment and uneasiness were cleverly demonstrated and sustained.
Of course the audience wait for the nudity scene and they were not disappointed. This was cleverly done and particularly well directed, Bob had obviously given this much thought. It was inventive, comic and tasteful. The wreath held by Kim at the climax was a great finale. I particularly loved Ruth’s pose with the oranges – this was an inspired touch.
This was a carefully crafted and well paced play. Bob ensured that the humour and sorrow of the play was highlighted but also the individual characters were well developed, and we were able to witness their own personal growth. He brought out the enrichment that comes when women work together to a personal and joint goal.
This was a very successful theatrical event which captured the audience totally.