19th January 2018
Preston Drama Club
Playhouse Theatre- Preston
Type of Production
Author: Eddie Regan
The acclaimed American playwright and screen writer Neil Simon premiered the American version of “Rumors” on Broadway in 1988. This successful play has since been adapted for the British Stage which sets the action in London and adapts the language and references accordingly.
The action of the play takes place in the living room of a large house outside London on a May evening in 1999.
The curtain opened to reveal an extremely well constructed and solid-looking realistic set with a staircase, two doors leading to the bedrooms, one front door and one downstairs bathroom and an archway to the kitchen. The set design was crucial to the action for this piece and I must congratulate the whole Construction Team. The set was well dressed with appropriate furnishings and props.
Neil Simon has said that all the characters were well-to-do so he had decided to dress them in elegant evening clothes to celebrate a 10th Anniversary. He felt that their outfits were a nice counterpart to the chaos in the play. The Wardrobe Department had ensured every actor w immaculately attired and the whole cast looked elegant and refined.
Designer and Director Dennis Yardley had gathered together a very strong cast with a great deal of experience and stage presence. All on stage worked so well together in this fast paced and quick-witted comedy with each of the characters having their own unique role to play. Diction and projection from all was very good but sadly too many prompts tended to slow down the pace at times. This apart,there were some excellent performances on show this evening.
I was particularly impressed, by Carol Unitt, as Chris Bevans, who gave a strong and convincing performance with excellent comic timing. Mark Kendall held the stage at all times and his explanation of events towards the end of the play received well deserved applause. I also enjoyed the delightful cameo role by Stella Judson as Conklin the Welsh policewoman who tried to bring calm to the on-stage mayhem.
I did feel that the curtain calls would have looked better if the performers had been placed in various positions on the lovely set, rather than, the usual straight line up.
Judging by the applause at the final curtain this was another success for this talented company.