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Our House

Date

2nd March 2012

Society

Altrincham Garrick Society

Venue

Garrick Playhouse

Type of Production

Modern Drama / Comedy

Director

Andrew Close

Report

Author: Kevin Proctor

The Altrincham Garrick presents a tale of changing times in their production of John Godber's ‘Our House’ which wasn’t far from what you’d expect on a night at the Royal Exchange!


Whilst May (Janet Slade) a mother, grandmother and recent widow is forced to look forward without her husband, the play focuses on looking back at the times spent in a home she once loved.

As you’d expect from a Godber play, the script is irregular as we jump back and forth in time through significant points in May’s memories skilfully keeping the audience up to speed with symbolic lighting design.

Janet Slade holds the piece together with ease, her performance was heartfelt and you couldn’t help but love her.

The relationship between May and Ted (Graham Simmonds) displayed all the right ingredients as the two complimented each other to great success.

Jack, an ex-teacher come comedy writer attempting to break into the American market - can any writer resist putting themselves in plays??  Putting Godber’s self-indulgence aside, Sean Duvall gave a confident and natural performance as the troubled son.

Benjamin Latham doubled up as the friendly and slightly simple removal man and the hot head neighbour from hell demonstrating expert acting ability as both. A first time appearance at the Garrick for Benjamin, I hope to see him cast in future productions.

Lise Nivern Banks, Ros Greenwood and Ian Fensome equally gave enjoyable performances as neighbours who wouldn’t be out of place down Coronation Street. Two of the kitchen-sink character stereotypes which were particular favourite performances for me were the goby neighbour yelling after her git of a son contrasting with the insecure daughter-in-law.

All under the direction of Andrew Close who has given the play a nice pace and using the superb facilities at the Garrick was able to support the show with a nice but simple set, well sought authentic props and accurate costume all together doing him credit and creating the perfect ambiance for the piece.

A very enjoyable production, thank you for your hospitality and I look forward to ‘The Glee Club’.