|Date||20th October 2018|
|Society||Magna Drama Group|
|Venue||Crendenhill Community Centre|
|Type of Production||Play|
Author: Louise Hickey
This was Magna’s official return to the venue where it all started, Credenhill Community Hall, and it was a lovely atmosphere as the audience took their seats. The hall had been decked out for Hallowe’en which was the backdrop for the play’s theme. A lot of effort had gone into making the hall itself part of the production and it worked really well.
As you would expect from a Betty Morris comedy, this was an hilarious romp in, dare I say, an almost ‘carry on’ genre (without the inuendo). Laura Gwynne, who played Lileth was a dead ringer for Fenella Fielding in carry on screaming and gave a brilliant performance. She had three ‘visitors from Transylvania’ with her and Betty Morris was gorgeous as Martandreya, a vampire on the cusp of becoming humanised, Shannon Jenkins as Thana was teenage vampire with the usual attitude issues and finally Rune played by Daniel Hoskins who delighted the audience with his facial expressions that I couldn’t describe if I tried but were absolutely perfect Lileth’s man servant. This is the best performance from Dan that I have seen so far, and I am sure there will be plenty more occasions when a perfect character will be written just for him.
The villagers involved in trying to save (or not) the Church Hall were well cast with Paul Oliver as Ralph, the Vicar with a drink problem and who managed to produce a bottle from every imaginable nook and cranny. Paul too gave the best performance I have seen him in and his confidence is gaining momentum with each production.
It’s always a pleasure to see Hilary Jones in one of the more eccentric roles, which she plays so well and Babs the booking secretary was a great role for her. Sarah Hare as the slightly obsessed Verger, was just right and did her best to bring order to the chaos whilst fighting her exasperation with everyone around her. Two local village busybodies played beautifully by Valerie Lewis and Stephanie Ellis were an added exasperation to her and they were so funny. Dave Jones as Jim from the Gardening Club, with his own agenda, and Daniel Beer as Rex, his side kick, confused things nicely until it all became clear in true Magna style Andrew Potter-Jones and Hollie Hoult as young friends Tony and Lucy gave strong performances too. However, it is always a pleasure to see the younger members go through that transition into adult roles and on this occasion, it was Meg Jenkins who gave a very mature performance and one that can only get better with time.
It was a lovely evening and as always there was a depth of meaning in the subtext of the plot that left us guessing until the end. Brilliant.