In my lady’s chamber

Date 26th May 2016
Society Alnwick Theatre Club
Venue The Playhouse, Alnwick
Type of Production Play
Director Sophie Towers and Lisa Gladstone/Helen Gee-Graham

Report

Author: Ray Lowry

In My Lady’s Chamber is medieval farce (or as described by the director, an adult panto) written in 2010 by Giles Scott. Staged in the Alnwick Playhouse, the auditorium of which is adorned appropriately with large paintings of the Carry-On team, Eric Morecambe and Tommy Cooper. You couldn’t set the scene better for this play and the audience were in the mood from the curtain up which revealed the wide single set well constructed by David Gibson and the ATC club members (as in any good farce, all features of the scenery played an active part in the action). The company played well in the large acting area and even coped appropriately with the odd hiccup (the main tabs failed to close completely at the interval but the cast caught off guard made the most of the situation and carried on in the second half capitalising on the circumstances rather than being hampered by them). This shows the calibre of the excellent cast lead by Catherine Hughes (Lady Jane) who was farcically chased by her admirers, the impish 'Squire Richard' played by newcomer Harry Brierley, the lusty Lord William (Peter Biggers) and 'Marquis Louis', a sex mad Frenchman played by Matt Bush.

The audience appreciated the many glimpses of flesh from both men and women with cheers, wolf whistles and cat-calls. The comedy was played nicely by all cast members but 'Servant Tom', castle idiot, played by Trevor Hughes and the 'Maid' (Phillipa Mawer) were special favourites. The maid and the servant were dead ringers for characters out of the Art of Coarse Acting (Michael Green’s affectionate tribute to amateur theatre) and were a real treat to watch as they seized the comic action when in full flow. Susan Joyce’s 'Mademoiselle Monique' basqued in seductive glory whilst the 'Official', played by John Firth, was suitably Machiavellian. The show was very enjoyable – to follow the double-entendre theme, it was truly in-your-farce.