The Erpingham Camp

Date 28th November 2013
Society Stevenage Lytton Players
Venue The Sishes
Type of Production Play
Director Cat Nicholls and Ben Willis


Author: Vicki Avery

The Erpingham Camp is one day of chaos in a holiday camp where the ambitions of head redcoat Riley (Peter Kirkby) lead to an uprising of unhappy campers.

The set design was good, and showed both the office inner sanctum and the external chalet frontage. Choice of colour was good and all props appropriately placed.

Lighting covered the staging well and there no dead spots. Relying on the natural projection of the actors worked most of the time, however, there were moments when dialogue was a little rushed and we lost the impact of the intense vocabulary.

On the whole the costumes worked well, the 60’s look being apparent yet not overstated.

The cast of performers delivered a highly entertaining show.  Eileen (Sam Rice) and Kenny (Aaron Govey) were definitely typical "Orton-type" characters, as the young married (and pregnant) couple.  Ashley Humphreys delivered a confident portrayal of the tyrannical Erpingham and was perfectly matched against Chief Redcoat Riley smartly portrayed by Peter Kirkby. The Irish accent was sustained throughout and the black eye very convincing.  Bob Sage played the cringe making, hands on, Pardre with great conviction and Ian Chambers’ characterization of WE Harrison reminded me so well of the “happy times at Butlin’s!”    Lesley Humphreys as the busty Jessie Mason obviously had great fun with this part and it showed throughout. A real fun performance. Nicola Sorkin, Gemma Davies and Joan McGrath as the Additional Redcoats never lost their characterization and I loved the rapport that they continued, with the audience, at half time. This all added to the “Erpingham Camp Experience.”

This was a dark, cynical, almost outrageous attempt to shock an audience from the norm’ and make us sit up and take note of a world that “might be” if we are are not mindful of each other, with the humor being the sting in the tale!

Well done, a bizarre experience that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Thank you for your hospitality as always.

Vicki Avery