It Was A Dark And Stormy Night

Date 30th May 2015
Society Cast and Crew Theatre Workshop
Venue Cornelius Vermuyden School, Canvey Island
Type of Production Play
Director David Revell-Smith


Author: Tessa Davies

Cast & Crew continues to build on their performances every time I see them and I really enjoyed this dark comedy.  All the cast produced good performances; Zahna Hull and Lou Brewster were excellent as the slightly batty sisters Hepzibah and Arabella Saltmarsh.  They were clearly enjoying their roles and there were some lovely facial expressions from both of them throughout the play.

Sarah Lepley played the servant Olive with terrific straight faced comedy and brilliant timing.  Martin Lepley was the, totally mad, Ebenezer, scary but funny at the same time, well done.

The procession of ‘nurses’ answering the rather odd advert all gave good performances, well done to Maxine Neil (Jane Adams) Bernie Saxby (Mary Shaw) and to Coral Baker as Marys sister Dorothy.  Sallie Castile also featured as an un-named nurse. Matthew Warner played the police man Snell well, even when the sisters were being creepily adoring!  I have a suspicion that might have got worse by the end of the following performances, but it was perfectly in keeping with the sister’s characters.

Sally Catling (Belle Malibu) and Jeff Hodgkins (Dawson) made a good pairing and we really were not sure about them right up to the end of the play.  Matthew Willis played the taxi driver Ed Perkins with some nice touches and a strong performance. The cast was completed by Rob Simmons as Uncle Silas, Alan Foster (Smiling Sam) and an appearance by Bob Bone (yes I did get that it was the skeleton)!

My only comment was with the sound and effects.  Unfortunately, when the main door was open and the noise of the storm was loud (as it should be) we couldn’t actually hear the actors saying their lines!  Also, despite it being a dark and stormy night with almost constant rain sound effects, I could not discern anyone with wet shoulders.  Someone back stage with a water spray might have been a good idea!  The set worked well and was strongly built.  Costumes were absolutely right for the play and the judicious use of horror makeup worked well.

Another great production from Cast & Crew, well done.