National Operatic & Dramatic Association
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The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen’s Guild Dramatic society Murder Mystery


22nd November 2017


KCA Players


Kinson Community Centre Pelhams


Author: Brian Oliver

For many years I have been a fan of “The Farndale Avenue” series of plays written by David McGillivray and Walter Zerin Jnr. They have mastered the art of writing plays within plays that go wrong. Therefore I certainly looking forward to seeing KCA’s latest production.

The Members of The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townwomen’s Guild Dramatic Society, led by Mrs Reece, are putting their annual production. “Murder at Checkmate Manor”. There are only four members, between then playing 15 parts and Gordon their stage manage, who at the last minute is called on to play the role of the Inspector.

The ladies were mingling and chatting with audience as they entered the hall and play opened with a bang as part of the set fell down, a table collapsed and the ladies rush on the stage to make hasty repairs and thus the hilarity begins. Every drama group has experienced the horrors of what can go wrong on opening night, and for the ladies of the F.A.H.E.T.G. Dramatic Society, everything that could go wrong, does. Lines are forgotten, wrong entrances are made, cues are missed, and the sound effects are rather strange. However The Ladies Soldier on as if it was all perfectly normal. They even manage to fit in a fashion show and a quiz.

This was a superb play, it was well direct and it was very funny, but not too much of farce and therefore it felt believable.  The hardworking cast were excellent in portraying the different characters which meant many quick changes of costumes and wigs.

The delivery and timing was excellent throughout and although Mrs Reece was a little quiet when talking about the quiz, I suspect it was a ploy to draw a reaction from the audience, as it caused quite laugh when a lady on the front row told her to speak up.

Well done to everyone concerned and I look forward to the next time KCA players chose to visit Farndale Avenue.