National Operatic & Dramatic Association
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The Female of the Species


22nd September 2017


Codsall Dramatic Society


Codsall Village Hall

Type of Production



Nikki Ellis

Artistic Advisor

Pam Allan


Author: Jean Beard

This play by Joanna Murray-Smith first produced in Australia in 2006 required 100% attention. Nikki Ellis, Director, was suddenly thrust into the leading role of Margot by the late withdrawal of a member of the cast from the part. Directing the play would have been a big enough task but taking the lead doubled the work from every aspect.

The main theme of the play is centred around a feminist writer (Margot) suffering from writer’s block when she finds she cannot meet the deadline for her next book. I can fully understand this dilemma having a son who is a Freelance Journalist and who has deadlines for stories and verdicts for local and London newspapers to meet when a case is finished in Court.  

Complications occur when a deranged former student, Molly (Ali Hughes), arrives and blames her for all that has gone wrong in her life. She comes complete with gun and handcuffs and immediately attaches Margot to her desk. Next arrival is Tess (Kathryn Evans), Margot’s daughter, who has left her three children alone claiming to be exhausted and agrees with Molly that Margot should be shot. All very complicated and if you add Tess’s husband Bryan (Chris Fairhurst), a taxi driver (Tom Churm) and Margot’s publisher Theo (John Bingham)  you will realise things can only get more complicated before they get better.

The cast were word perfect for this play – not an easy task making sense of the script. There was also a recurring joke about “A cow on the doorstep” but for my taste they were rather too many four letter words. In fact Bryan had a line in which he said “you could make a point without language” and I must say I agreed with this sentiment but I know that this is purely a personal view.

The play had an excellent set with good furniture, props including pictures, a bookcase full of books and ornaments.  Lighting was good and no problems at all with sound.