|Date||25th September 2019|
|Society||Codsall Dramatic Society|
|Venue||Codsall Village Hall|
|Type of Production||Play|
|Directors||Anita Yates, Wendy Peterson, Pam Allen|
Author: Jean Beard
The word “entertaining” in the title of this play perfectly describes an evening spent watching this production by CDS. It tells the story of the Vicar’s widow, Grace, following the death of her husband and a lifetime spent on ”best behaviour.” Enjoying her freedom that is until her missionary sister Ruth arrives and puts “the cat among the pigeons.” Into the mixture add Grace’s daughter Jo and the new Vicar, who turns out to be a lady Sarah. That storyline alone would be enough to entertain but add the deceased Vicar, Bardolph, popping in “from the Other Side” and suddenly spice is added to the mixture.
Directed with pace the action moves along and the laughs and throwaway lines come thick and fast but in a very ladylike manner. Until Ruth drops her bombshell! The unhappiness and heartache caused by her words were very sensitively handled. Handkerchiefs at the ready. Recriminations, anger and hurt followed but again not without the throwaway comedy lines before the audience had a chance to get too maudlin. As with all good stories it all became sorted and the final scene set a year later saw everyone happy. The punchline at the very end certainly put a broad smile on the faces of the actors and the audience. Codsall DS at their very best.
Wendy Peterson playing the Vicar’s widow Grace took over the leading role at very short notice and although having to use the book on occasions it did not detract from her performance.
Ann Escritt in her role as Ruth, the returning Missionary from Africa, was as nutty as a fruit cake and her costume and style of walk and delivery only added to her vagueness until she divulged her secret. She completely altered her character and performance adding to the mood change necessary to the action.
Lucy Kendrick (daughter Jo) supporting both her mother and her aunt, and dealing with the doubts of the new Vicar Sarah (Adele Evans) showed sympathy and strength whichever was needed at the time. Adele developed her character and the play moved along from a flighty piece to the decorum of the Vicar.
I must not forget Patrick Bentley (deceased Vicar Bardolph) who floated in and out of the greenhouse to sit by the stream and review his life. Seen only by his Widow their exchanges were a revelation of how Grace found her new found freedom when she no longer had to be on her best behaviour.
A thoroughly enjoyable play, very well performed. A good set and lighting not forgetting the excellent choice of music used before and during the course of the action.