Farndale - Macbeth

Date 4th May 2017
Society Bedworth Theatre Company
Venue Bedworth Arts Centre
Type of Production Play
Director Alison Smith
Stage Manager Cassie Furey
Stage Manager Jack Renn


Author: Joyce Eyre

Bedworth Theatre Company should not have worried about straight faces as the Farnedale Festival entry of Macbeth was hilarious from start to finish. The casts and audiences varying reactions to the constant disasters: bewilderment, resignation, squabbling, and finally acceptance that the Farndale productions were always like this just added to the entertainment.

 Maureen Palmer set the scene as Chairwoman Mrs Reece, succeeding admirably in her failure to hold things together, helped in her opening scene by the lighting folk’s requisite incompetence. This provided a hilarious start to the action. I don’t think she introduced the Adjudicator of the “Festival “ Mr Peach correctly once! my friend and I were guessing what she was going to call him next ?

Mr Peach was excellently played by Richard Nicolls, his outrageously camp performance had me in stitches. A fabulous addition/idea whilst the stage was set for act 2 was for him to accompany the audience members into the bar area during the interval where he continued to adlib in character chatting to many who looked a little bewildered as to if they should be laughing at the innuendos, His final appearance as a drag queen was simply shocking, lol

Elly Meehan was Farndales Banquo who had almost lost her voice but still had to soldier on whispering her way through and miming, brought the exact degree of over-acting required.

Caroline Chattaway gave an outstanding performance as the physically dominating Macbeth/Thelma.

 Also memorable for me,was Farndale’s stand-in Lady Macbeth/Henry played by Mathew Chattaway, reluctantly press-ganged from the Farndale stage crew. With his unwomanly body language, he clearly hated the whole thing especially having to wear the dress,

Without listing, everyone by name I would also like to mention David Robertson who played the frustrated stage manager Mr. Plummer

Most of the small cast had several roles and were competent in their ability. The Witches were great. They could cackle for England (correction, Scotland), their distinctive noses giving them away when their wearers changed for other parts.

Following the interval Mrs. Reece had another crack at trying to prove The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen’s Guild Dramatic Society were normal by awarding a lucky audience member a jar of jam, it appeared to be a very short play and I don’t know if this had been added or if this was scripted? 

I really enjoyed the play as it was more farcical than anything I had previously seen. As the play went on I became aware of the audience reactions, I personally think a few didn’t quite know what to make of the production especially Mr. Peach …. I thought it was a great evening’s entertainment in such a limited space , well done to all concerned.