Duets - three comedies by Peter Quilter

Date 17th October 2015
Society Woodchurch Players
Venue Woodchurch Memorial Hall
Type of Production Play
Director Elizabeth Fenton

Report

Author: Anne Lawson

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Present day, three acts, three sets of two players, three situations and one set.  A Blind Date – sadly never having yet got it right, middle aged Jonathan and Wendy try to get it right this time.  Meeting at Jonathan’s apartment, Wendy arrives with a huge piece of cheese.  Full of corny jokes, exaggerations and faux pas, they nervously dance around each other.  Neither has high hopes, but eventually agree on a proper date over dinner. The Holiday – To finalise their divorce Brummy Shelley and Bob take a holiday in Torremolinos. Getting slaughtered on more cocktails served beautifully around the door by what we imagine is a red blooded Spaniard, conversation gets a little heated and Bob announces his departure. With great interaction over a packet of crisps, using a throw as a picnic blanket nostalgia creeps in and they agree to end both the holiday and the divorce amicably. Bride To Be – Angela third time bride to be with cold feet is being persuaded by brother Toby to take the plunge.  Resembling a parachute and following a series of disasters with the dress, she eventually gives in. These plays are a wonderful insight into the world of love producing hilarious moments but also great poignancy.
Circular tables created  cabaret style for the ‘picnic’ interval.
A glossy A5 programme cover showed a couple silhouetted black on white, the NODA crest, all relevant information and colourful advertising.  Easy to read with a colour photo of the costumed actors on set, local groups in the area advertising their forthcoming productions, as well as next year’s Woodchurch panto.
A pleasant neutral coloured sitting room with a back central window,  angled ‘front’ door and an archway leading to another room, ably constructed  by Les Fenton and Ben Vincer.  A central sofa, small table at the rear, a half-moon table against the wall and with the quick changing of window drapes, throws, paintings and props, all three settings were perfect for each location.  Slick changes from Daisy Fermor SM and Dylan O’Bryan ASM.
The cast were perfectly dressed by Ann Tiplady, simple, exactly as you would have imagined. Beiges and browns for the blind daters, colourful and brash for Spain, chunky jewellery, high heels and flower in the hair, wedding dress – a real meringue contrasting dark suited smart Toby.
Interesting use of colour changes through the window, and most encouraging having a young team working the desk.  Timings were perfect, particularly for the clapping of hands to start and stop the music. 
Beth did a splendid job directing.  The paired actors truly became the written characters. ‘Blind Date’ cast was Jean Smith as Wendy working alongside Simon Phelps as Jonathan.  ‘The Holiday’ – Bob was Mark Perrian teamed with Heather Leslie as Shelley and in ‘Bride To Be’, Ben Vincer played Toby with Dawn O’Bryan his sister Angela.  Doing the script justice, the pace was fast, audible, clear with variety - accent, light and shade, one moment hilarious, others thought provoking.