Round The Houses

Date 10th March 2022
Society Clacton Amateur Dramatic Society
Venue The Westcliff Theatre Clacton On Sea
Type of Production Farce
Director David Thompson


Author: Hazel Hole

I was warmly welcomed on arrival by Rosie Meloy, the HonTreasurer.

The stage was already set as the sitting room of the Simpson's house which is for sale. Designed and constructed by Terry White, aided by his team, there were a number of entrances and exits from the set, all essential to ensure that this comedy farce moved along at a cracking pace.

This was classic, hilarious farce from start to finish with all the cast performing their roles with enormous enthusiasm, ability and, in some cases, great agility ! There was much undressing, redressing, missing clothes, mistaken identities, in short total mayhem! At several points a pantomime cow appeared, used as a disguise. There was lots of innuendo which this small cast delivered extremely well. The timing was impeccable throughout, so essential for maintaining the plot and the interactions between the cast were terrific.

Charlie Vaughan, as Lionel Simpson and Hayley Favell, as Helen Simpson were the divorcing couple planning to sell their home. They were well cast and set the scene really well. Both were key actors adding to the general confusion on stage and played their parts skilfully. Charlie in particular played the drunken Lionel brilliantly!

Alex Bass, as estate agent Simon Allcock, was arrogant, pompous, bombastic and incredibly self important, intent on seducing his secretary. This was a great role for Alex who showed great acting ability as this character. His reactions to the various tricky situations were immediate He was interrupted by his assistant, Bernard, played by Gary Huggins. Gary maximised this role, being both naive, strikingly innocent and utterly hapless and just so very funny! The audience loved this character.

Lauren Hodges, as the Secretary Felicity Pettifer, was a provocative blonde, reacting well to Simon's advances and also playing a role in the pantomime cow.

Brenda White-Robinson was magnificent as Miriam Wallace-Pratt, the lady from the local Womens' Institute. She contributed to the confusion by regularly turning up to collect unwanted clothes for the Jumble Sale inevitably with devastating consequences!

Kayleigh Murray, as Dr Samantha Gleeson, was called in to deal with a “medical emergency” and whilst having a most professional manner initially, soon revealed a sexy side to her character

Janet Wood, as Bernard's wife, Deirdre, was initially as unworldly and naive as her husband. However, she displayed a degree of tenacity later and was the perfect foil to Bernard.

Stage Manager, Tracy Lias ensured that any changes were slick ,especially with the use of props. Sound levels were appropriate as was the use of lighting ( Vickiey Found and Victoria Sutton ). Costumes closely reflected the characters in the plot.

Congratulations to everyone involved in any way with this quite masterful and challenging production.

Special congratulations to Director, David Thompson for his skill and commitment in bringing this fabulous and uproarious production to the stage. The audience loved every twist and turn, as I did!