24th September 2015
Codsall Community Hall
Type of Production
Pam Allan/Chris Greaves
Author: Jean Beard
This play is possibly not one of Alan Ayckbourn's most well known plays and certainly a difficult play for any company to stage, daunting even the most professional company.
Set in London in the future the play centres around composer Jerome who is awaiting a visit from the Child Welfare Office who will make the decision whether Jerome can have his daughter to visit. Jerome and his wife Corinna are divorced. To assist him in this task he arranges to employ an actress to play his fiancee.
For CDS this was a triumph for their technical team. I must congratulate them for their courage and technical ability to tackle this play. So many special effects and screens around the auditorium it was sometimes difficult to know where to focus your attention.. The outdoor scenes in the play were projected on to screens. The actors matched the technical team with their performances. Andy Cholerton (Jerome) had so much to learn and was rarely off stage and he never faltered. He was strongly supported by Nikki Ellis (Zoe) and Joanna Strong (Corinna). The girls exchanged roles in Act I and Act II - being a "robot" in one act and then becoming a real person in the other act.
Ray Manning in the part of Mr Bickerdyke, the Child Welfare Officer, was everyone's nightmare of a "Jobsworth" character.
The principals were strongly supported by all the cast both on stage and screen and the society can be justifiably proud to have tackled such an ambitious and challenging play.
Certainly the audience leaving this play had lots to think and talk about and realiser that perhaps the days of 1984 are even closer than we realise.
Jean Beard deputising for Alf Rai