One O’clock from the House
17th May 2014
Barnby Memorial Hall, Blyth
Type of Production
Deborah Pickwell, assisted by Lucy Greaves
Author: Matt Fry
Blyth players presented Frank Vickery’s comedy, One O’clock from the House at Barnby Memorial Hall, Blyth. This play dabbles with family politics surrounding on the death of an elderly father - not usually an occasion for hilarity, but when the family concerned numbers amongst its members a wellington-clad cook who bakes almondless almond cakes, another who's convinced his shopping trolley is a clever dog called Rover (he's already taught him to beg), and a sister who's a happy inmate of a psychiatric home, the proceedings are bound to be lively!! Add to this a posthumous joke played by Father on three of his daughters and the fact that they are not exactly what might be termed a close-knit family, the scene is set for a scorching comedy of personalities and situations – with an extremely dark and somewhat disturbing ending.
Director, Deborah Pickwell, delivered with a superb production. Skilfully set on this restrictive stage, she triumphed in communicating clear interpretation of this play, ensuring continuous action, spatial consistency and visual variety were achieved. The attention to detail in both the design and construction of the set was also excellent. Set in a 1980’s living room, the décor, furniture and props all had a carefully considered place and added professionalism to the overall aesthetics of the piece. Technically, backstage work was handled well, as was the sound and lighting. Overall, the creative team’s combined efforts were delightful to watch and resulted in high standards being achieved.
The principle cast were all very strong. Jeanette Adams (Miriam), who barely left the stage, acted her character extremely well and provided most of the momentum throughout the performance. Lucy Greaves (Josey) gave a solid performance as the sarcastic teenage daughter, as did the Michael Pearce who played Austin (husband to Miriam). Judith Earle (Margaret) and Sharon Hughes (Maureen) both acted the sisters well, providing nicely contrasted and competent performances throughout. Zena Robinson (Mavis) provided excellent comic entertainment as the eccentric, as did George Earle (Tudor) who played the dim-witted do-gooder superbly. All other actors involved gave consistent, confident and realistic character portrayals, certainly adding to the quality of the piece.
Blyth is living proof that great quality productions of a near-professional quality are being produced on the tightest of budgets, in the most intimate of settings, on our doorsteps. If ever you get an opportunity to see Blyth in action, we thoroughly recommend that you do.
From all at NODA Nottingham, we thank you for providing us with a thoroughly entertaining evening and look forward to seeing your next production.
Show Report by Matt Fry
NODA Nottingham, District 3, East Midlands Region