|Date||24th May 2019|
|Society||Magna Drama Group|
|Venue||Credenhill Community Centre|
|Type of Production||Play|
Author: Louise Hickey
Home was another inspirational play written by B.A. Morris, and although it was described as an original comedy, and make no mistake it was very funny in places, the deep meaning behind it didn’t fail to touch the hearts of the audience. Homelessness is a very topical issue and the play looked at the person as well as the conditions in which they found themselves.
The cast, who may not thank me for this, were perfectly cast. Stan played by Dave Jones; was the ex-soldier whose psyche was one of natural protection of his fellow ‘home’ mates. His reasons for finding himself in this state were so heart wrenching and Dave made it so believable. In the best role I have seen him in, Paul Oliver as Billy the Beam was the burnt-out sad man who had lost everything and took to the streets with a dog who had died. In Billy’s mind the dog was still alive, and he hugged a rug throughout which he believed to be his beloved dog. It was tragic and funny especially as it was supposedly alive with fleas… Paul’s visualization of a beam of light influencing his actions was excellent.
Foxy Roxy, played by Hilary Jones, was a world-weary ex lady of the night, who was stronger than the others and came over as the reluctant motherly, protective type who knew how to work the system but preferred being on the streets with her ‘family’. Hilary is a master of this type of role; she has a natural empathy of the character she becomes. The surprise of the evening was Dan Hoskins as Ruby Murray, in full make-up and exaggerated female attire, he played a transgender who tried to make his way in the world as a woman and was totally self-absorbed with his needs. He was incredible, or rather he was very credible. Betty Morris was so funny as Hettie, the ‘older’ member of the homeless who you soon realized was there more for the company of her new family, rather than be with her actual one. The last person in this little band of lost souls was Princess, who through a horrendous episode in her life aided by drugs and alcohol, had lost her memory. Foxy had rescued her and looked after this tormented woman who couldn’t remember the simplest things. Laura Gwynne gave another heart wrenching performance as Princess and made us laugh and cry throughout the evening. Betty Morris certainly knows how to make us sit up and face the issues that we know are there but perhaps, choose to ignore.
Hollie Halt was Tinkerbell, so named by the homeless, and had a kind heart giving them clothes, food (real chips that wafted through the hall) and money, which she knew would be spent on booze.
Andrew Potter-Jones and Shannon Jenkins played brother and sister Gav and Mav who tried to inveigle themselves into the homeless band in order to become famous! They were both great trying to upstage each other for the sake of their art. Sarah Jenkins was once again the nasty lady, Zoe Cartwright, who was working a deal with the council, or so she thought, to evict the group. This backfired and Zoe’s reaction was relished by the audience. Her artistic rival was played by Meg Jenkins as Ivy Horrocks, who as the up and coming investigative reporter doing her best to regale the human side of the situation and who won over in the end, taking with her the poor assistant to Zoe, Gary played by Daniel Beer, who had been harangued mercilessly throughout by the overbearing Zoe.
The final character was Mrs. Yvonne Anderson played by Steffi Ellis. Steffi’s transformation from the quiet and slightly dithering member of The White Haven Arches Transformation Society (TWHATS for short) into a manipulative and purposeful character was unexpected and very well done. The pseudonym of the transformation society was used throughout and was very funny in that context. Steffi and Sarah should be commended for the misuse of her name which would have completely confused me, it was so well paced, very well done.
A lot of thought had gone into the costumes and set, and the stage was an amalgam of, well basically, rubbish which was the homeless bands home. The perimeter of the site was performed on the flat in front of the stage and to make the distinction between the two areas, clever lighting affects were applied. It made the whole play quite atmospheric.
This was a play with a moral and in true Magna fashion a bucket collection was made at the end of the evening for one of their charities, Open Door in Hereford, who help to feed the homeless. Thank you, Magna, for bringing another uncomfortable topic to our consciousness.