|Date||12th May 2018|
|Society||Westovian Theatre Society|
|Type of Production||Play|
Author: Gordon Richardson
Act 1 starts at the investigation of the murder of famed actress Celia Wallis’ (Miriam Beber) husband by Inspector Bruton (Ryan Bradley) and his two underlings Sgt.Fisher (Jamie Gallagher) and WPC Leach (Hannah Potter). At first the intense and intrusive investigation centres on ‘Celia’ because of her open admission she hated her husband but she has a cast iron alibi – enter hapless ‘mummys boy’ and ‘knicker nicker’ Neville Smallwood (Tristan Gaines) – local radio station interviewer sent to interview Celia – whose demeanour, previous conviction for stealing women’s underwear and self-confessed stalker of Celia leaves him prime suspect despite the assertion by Celia of the mysterious, faceless silhouette of a fedora wearing, cape covered person at the front door that disappeared.
The first act moved on at pace with a simple but effective set littered with props from the victim’s previous theatrical life. Lighting enhanced the experience with at certain times scenes highlighted as a means of emphasising the significance of the action. Miriam played her character in a confident and self-assured manner and was, like her character, at one with her stage. Jamie and Hannah played their characters well throughout showing empathy alongside a determination to do their jobs and gave just enough red herrings to have the audience question the decisions made.
Tristan as ‘Neville’ was superb as the somewhat effeminate ‘mummys boy’ with a penchant for women’s underwear and writing somewhat creepy stalking letters and the audience felt equally repelled and attracted to the character.
His accuser Inst. Bruton played in superb fashion by Ryan gave him a torrid time as his questioning at pace was frightening and relentless – well done to Ryan especially for all the libretto to learn – most of which were questions and hence not following on from what others said – very impressive.
So… everything ‘sorted’ by the end of Act 1 ??? – the second act took us back a few hours to see what really occurred and the entrance of subsequent victim Martin Powell (David Gibson) – it was easy to see why Celia was estranged to the character given David’s portrayal of his character as a thoroughly odious man and his subsequent ‘baiting’ of ‘Neville’ to the extent that Neville threatens him with a stage prop gun.
As the curtain fell at the end – the audience’s perceptions had been totally altered – had the right man been arrested, and what about the cassette taped interview between Neville and Celia that was winging its way to the BBC and had been left recoding the whole evening….
A really enjoyable play from a talented company and a superb directorial debut for Jack Young – well done all…