Duets

Date 23rd March 2019
Society Bovingdon Players
Venue Memorial Hall, Bovingdon
Type of Production Play
Director Sharon Gaffney

Report

Author: Nova Horley

A very well acted and directed quartet of short plays, that covered varying relationships between two people, and which were explored to the full by the experienced cast.

The single set, with different dressing for each scene was well thought out, and worked extremely well, so that we didn’t have to wait for protracted scene changes.  Lighting was suitable for each piece, and it was good to be able to hear every word said by the cast, due to good projection and not aided by mics.

Costumes were very suitable, and looked crisp, without looking too pristine.  I particularly liked Iain’s jacket and Imogen’s top, very colourful and suitable!

We started off with Jonathan and Wendy, played by Robert Peacock and Liz Lewis.  This couple were trying internet dating, and were having a short meeting before deciding whether or not to give each a try.  The dialogue was very funny, with Robert and Liz exploiting it to the utmost.  They created the awkwardness between the two individuals, and also the realisation that they were very alike in some ways.  I liked the way they got us laughing almost immediately.  I liked the business with the coat, very clever, and kiss that turned into a handshake, all very well done.

The second play was different in tone – with Iain King as the flamboyant Barrie, and Anna Murkowski as his sophisticated secretary/PA Janet.  I loved Iain’s jacket, it really signified the type of person he was, and although loud, it did not seem over the top.  Anna looked every inch the perfect PA, and I loved the resigned but free and easy relationship created between them – where each understood the other well.   Amusing, but a completely different feel to the first play.

The third play was again very different in tone, regarding a soon to be divorced couple on holiday together, because neither wanted to miss out on the holiday.  Imogen Roberts as Shelley, created a beautifully increasingly drunk woman, on the edge of freedom, but not sure it’s what she wants.  An assured performance, matched by Terry Casserley as her soon to be ex, Bobby.  He was the calmer of the two, until he decided to leave, but then showed a different side to his character. 

The final play was on Angela’s wedding day – dealing with her insecurities about getting married a third time, and her reaction to her brother’s ........ on this and her previous marriages.  Toby was nicely played by Ben Hooker, giving the character exasperation with his sister’s foibles, and then showing a sort of back-handed comfort to her.  Angela was played exceedingly well by Katy Ratcliffe,  who injected so much vigour and uncertainty into the part.  I thought her wedding dress worked extremely well, and well done to her for actually getting wet, it created a certain believability to the proceedings.

All in all 8 excellent actors, who injected their own individual portrayals of complex characters with experience and energy.  We thoroughly enjoyed the evening, and thought the standard of acting and direction was excellent.