Don Carroll's Wilfred Slept Here and Derek Webb's CCTV

Date 18th May 2018
Society Bexhill Light Opera and Dramatic Society (BLODS)
Venue BLODS Little Theatre Manor Barn Gardens
Type of Production Farce
Director Andy Mould


Author: Anne Lawson

With the new Little Theatre up and running this was the first of the regular two one-act plays I’ve attended. With a congenial atmosphere, bustling house, busy licensed bar and a raffle table we settled in the new chairs for two award winning productions with Andy Mould, long time BLODS member directing plays for the first time. The new professional lighting rig and sound desk had been installed - a real bonus for the company, with Chloe Dennis on the controls. 

Don Carroll’s play is a black comedy set in a living room designed and built by Liam Rowley and his dad Pete where unseen Wilfred is lying in bed not long for this world, and wife Ethel – a collector of husbands -  is anticipating inheriting his estate. What a surprise when she finds out he already has a wife – her marriage is bigamous and her friends are not as they seem! With Jane Watkins as Ethel and Marion Baker as best friend Beaty, performing her first play with the BLODS, together with Jo Doyle as well dressed, thinks she’s better than most Miss Swift and lastly the knitting ‘a little on the slow side’. Kitty amusingly played by Krista Pickering with Claire Hughes as  Clara – honest and a plodder. The ladies kept up their well-studied ‘e by gum’ accents rather well with clarity but lacked pace at times.  The set was well thought through – a busy living room leaving little space for sitting, so made for natural movement removing set obstacles. Clever having the headboard facing the audience with the pillow to pump and to attend to Wilfred’s needs including his humbugs! The room was well dressed with a sideboard, settee, coat stand, by pictures adorning the walls, bunting, hanging clothes, laundry bag etc – the funeral tea tray well laid out, all props diligently sourced by Jo Doyle. Good sound effects including whistling kettle!  With  reference to a ‘wireless’ and the costumes worn would the suggested era have had a mobile phone yet? Some very funny exchanges with some good facial expressions.

‘CCTV’ with a cast of four:  Set in the security room of Sleepy Oaks Shopping Centre with two security guards, a bit of a joker Alex and  serious Rich are chatting on the shift change. The third team member Jayne is doing a spot of shopping. On her return the normal routine suddenly turns into chaos when a hapless robber appears with a pair of ladies’ black tights on his head,  a hoody with the name Keith on the back who is totally incomprehensible!  Whilst trying to decide how this situation should be handled utter chaos ensues with fast and furious action brilliant lines and all carried off with skill.  I particularly liked the concentration of keeping an eye on what was happening in the shopping mall – very well executed.  The uniforms looked perfect and the set simple but most effective. Good signage.  Darrell Willis must be congratulated on his fact action and delivery  and together with Simon Meeson as Alex, Chris Eyre as ‘man of correct grammatical words’ Rich and Claire playing her second part of the evening as Jayne, passionate with her shopping worked together like clockwork. Again, good sound effects particularly with echoed announcements.