Kiss Me Like You Mean It

Date 18th May 2017
Society Alnwick Theatre Club
Venue Alnwick Playhouse
Type of Production Play
Director Ben Kinlock asst director Susan Joyce


Author: Kathryn Curry

Alnwick Theatre Club always gives us an evening of exceptional drama and this production was no exception. It was simply excellent! This vibrant and engaging play, told a charming, moving and bittersweet tale focussed around love and companionship. Through the characters of Tony, Ruth, Don and Edie we were able to witness and grasp the many measurable aspects of love. Within Chris Chibnall’s well compromised piece the audience were able to relate I am sure to many experiences in the field of love, whatever they may be.

The piece opened to a very authentic but simple set which worked exceptionally well and with very effective lighting it was very easy to fully engage with the actors and be drawn into the ambience of the plot. The four actors had a lot of dialogue to learn and they were word perfect and very convincing in their roles.  Care had been taken with props to make sure they were of the era and the same can be said of costumes.

Ruth played by Molly Reading was to be found sitting at 3 a.m. in the back garden in one of the two terraced houses on stage. She was joined by Tony played by Harry Brierley.  They were extremely well matched and worked well together in their characters. Molly is new to the society and gave a stalwart performance. Harry with his experience, really was outstanding.  Their whole dialogue together in their many scenes came across with humour, tenderness and they were very convincing in all their scenes both on their own and with the other couple and were able to act with insight into the situations.

The play ambled along at a good pace and we were quickly drawn into the plot but with enough leeway not to reveal the touching nature of what was to come. The entrances of Edie played by Carol Lawrence and Don played by Oliver Pusey raised the level even more. These two are very experienced in taking leading roles in this company and tonight they were just superb. The difficult subject of illness and the formality of no long term recovery was highlighted by these two in very memorable performances especially given the nature that the terminal illness was imminent.  Their committed love to each other and how they would eventually handle the difficult subject of taking and ending a life in their own hands enthralled and moved us to tears.  Carol is a joy to watch, she is committed and is so involved in the part that one is convinced that this really is happening and it is not just a play. Oliver through his effortless way of delivering his dialogue against Carol got us all on the edge of our seats and drawn into the whole tragic but touchingly loving situation. They both portrayed, love, anger, frustration, humour, fear and commitment to each other in outstanding performances.

For a debut, as a young Director of this play of Black Commedy; Ben Kinloch is to be congratulated for his mature insight into convincingly leading us through the story and its emotive content. His coaching of the actors and sensitive approach to the piece gave us night of superb drama, food for thought, leaving us the audience captivated into a touching situation. My sincere congratulations Ben, it was a delight to talk to you afterwards and hear of your innovative approach to directing this production. You have a bright future ahead of you I am sure.  To everyone involved thank you for a professional and wonderful evening of pure drama.