|Date||17th November 2021|
|Society||Greville Theatre Company|
|Venue||Barn Theatre, Little Easton Manor|
|Type of Production||Play|
Author: Decia Ranger
A wealthy socialite has arranged a dinner party in celebration of the publication of her husband’s best-selling book. She has also hired a waiter from the internet, but is there more to this arrangement than meets the eye?
This is a black comedy with adult themes, strong language and a plot which has the audience fooled until the end. Some might consider it to be a brave choice, but the society obviously doesn’t shy away from a challenge and the strong cast must be congratulated on their performance.
Madeline Harmer was superb as Paige Janssen. Famous for her dinner parties, she knows that nothing will surpass this one. She is of course absolutely right. The facial expressions and body-language, together with well-timed delivery were terrific. Husband Lars, in whose honour the guests are gathering, was well played by Peter Simmons. Exasperated by his wife’s outrageous behavior he turns his attention to one of the other guests.
I very much enjoyed Netti Lomas’ performance as Wynne, an artist for whom there would appear to be no holds barred when it comes to expressing her artistic talents. She is also completely dismissive of the fact that her boyfriend Bob has just left her for someone called Pam, describing it as a harmless fantasy fulfillment. She and Lars go back a long way and he obviously still has a thing for her.
Hal, well played by Adam Thompson, refuses to enlarge on his work as a microbiologist but becomes extremely agitated at the mention of biological warfare. His glamorous newsreader wife Sian, confidently played by Sarah Kingdom, appears to be bored with her husband until the very end. She does though rather excel at a game where guests talk for two minutes on a subject written on a card under their plate. Who knew there were so many weapons with which to commit murder?
Mike only called to use the telephone but Lars insisted he stay for dinner, much to the annoyance of Paige. His story that he has just burgled the house next door and crashed his van into a gate post sounds almost believable but is it really true? During the course of the evening he retracts the burglary story and talks of being ex-army, but who exactly is he? By this time the alcohol has been flowing freely so no-one seems unduly concerned. A good characterisation by Alexander Brandon.
The Waiter meanwhile is obeying Paige’s every command whilst remaining completely silent. We could read nothing from his expressionless face and at times it would have been easy to forget he was there. It would be completely wrong of me to reveal any more of the plot so all I will say is well done to Owen Lomas.
The monochrome set was just right. Anything too fussy could have drawn the eye away from the action and we certainly couldn’t afford to risk missing any clues.
This was a very good, well directed production, which kept us fooled until the very end.
Thank you for inviting me. We had a very enjoyable evening.