The Farndale Avenue Housings Estate Townswomen's Guild Dramatic Society "Murder Mystery"

Date 30th October 2021
Society Pendle Hippodrome Theatre Company
Venue Pendle Hippodrmoe Theatre
Type of Production Play
Director Goreon Ingleby
Musical Director n/a
Choreographer n/a
Producer Then Company


Author: Griselda Makepeace-Golightly


Paul Mason writes. I had a splitting headache the evening when attending this production at Pendle Hippodrome, so I asked my companion Mrs. Griselda Makepeace-Golightly to put pen to paper in my stead. I reproduce her thoughts below.

Mrs. Makepeace-Golightly’s review:  What a responsibility Mr. Mason has placed on my shoulders! Never having written a review of a play before I do hope I do it properly. Please bear with me.

The Pendle Hippodrome is a fine theatre. I was so looking forward to my visit there. I must confess I am not much of a playgoer in fact I don't get out much at all these days since my dear Egbert passed on. 

I was excited to discover the play was being presented by a company I have heard so much about, namely The Farndale Housing Estate Townswomen's Guild Dramatic Society, no less. Hurray!  It was so exciting to see the curtains open to reveal the wonderful set. I think that is what it is called. But I was distraught however when one of the large canvassy thingies (“flats” Mr. Mason says they are) fell down. What a pity! Then just moments later another tragedy befell when one side of the curtain rail dislodged itself. It is always a problem when companies hire other venues , they are so reliant on the capabilities (or lack of them) of the resident people to get it right. The “flat”, (I have learned a new word),  was soon put up again although I think it may have been put upside down. I really felt for the actors. I am very sorry to report that some members of the audience found these unfortunate mishaps amusing. One person sitting behind me, who Mr. Mason later told me was a certain Mr. Richard Sanderson, who if the rumours are to be believed, does a bit of acting himself, laughed particularly loudly. I really should have told him he should have known better. After all, you wouldn't want your flats to fall down now would you, Mr. S?

Phoebe Reece was very good. I almost thought she played more than one part but I must be mistaken of course.  In fact I had the same impression about all of the actors, it just goes to show I am not really up on modern theatricals. Now let me tell you I do enjoy clear diction. I could hear every word the policeman said. There was none of this silly accentuation of certain words in a misguided attempt to reveal meaning. Oh no. Not a bit of it.  He was clear and direct and as someone reliant on a hearing aid I did appreciate his performance. Later when he did a dance number I was enthralled. As an ardent  fan of “Strictly” I can honestly  say that he would have been likely to get a 10 all round, darlings. Dare I venture to guess that he was once a student of the Royal Ballet School? Audrey, Kirsty and Thelma were super. You must give me your recipe for pickled cabbage, Audrey dear. If it is as good as your acting I know I am in for a memorable experience. Felicity as the butler, strangely called Porn, not the best of names in my humble opinion (In fact I think the author must have been thinking of something else when he came up with it), leapt around with  enthusiasm. I enjoyed her performance. But here again I think she may have got muddled up with her costume at times. But, and I do hate to say this, some members of the audience, yes you again Mr. Sanderson, found this hilarious. 

I  enjoyed the quiz at the interval and Phoebe's vain attempts to interact with this rather difficult house (another word I have learned from Mr. Mason to describe the audience), some of whom even dared to heckle her when surely she was only trying to add to our enjoyment of the proceedings. 

Well what more can I say? I am not used to writing reviews. Thank you so much Gordon Ingleby, you managed to keep me bemused right up to the final curtain. Incidentally I notice the real occupants of the Hippodrome, Pendle Theatre company are staging “My Fair Lady” in March and before that their Youth Theatre is undertaking “Legally Blonde”. Mr. Mason tells me these are both musicals and he has promised that if I behave myself he may invite me to accompany him to Colne again. He also tells me his headache miraculously disappeared the moment the play ended. I am so pleased for him.

 I do hope that many of the Pendle Theatre company, young and old, took the chance to see this fine mystery drama as I am sure they would have picked up numerous tips about the techniques of subtle stagecraft. 

My very best wishes to you all.


PS. (Is this ok, Mr. Mason?)