The Last Tango & Panto at Little Grimley

Date 29th November 2012
Society Bocking Theatre Club
Venue Bocking Village Hall
Type of Production Drama
Director Margaret Surrey

Report

Author: Ann Platten

As the title suggests these two one act plays are linked and present the trials and tribulations of a failing AM Dram Group, who it appears have just four members (and one of them is their Stage Manager),who have kept the group going for twelve long years. With failing audiences and the effort and costs that seem to outweigh the income with few attending the shows drastic action is required. Gordon played by John Ellson the Chairman and general factotum of the group decides to try his hand at writing a play but a show the like of which Little Grimley had never seen before. A show with a twist including a rather risqué plot which involved Margaret played by Jan Peaston with a hint that she might reveal all. The word got around and the people of Little Grimley all were anxious to obtain tickets, the show was a riot and a great success. Not content with the triumph of one show under his belt, Gordon decides to write a Pantomime rather along the same lines. Due to circumstances on the opening night it did not go well, as members of the cast all sustained various accidents. This meant with a cast of four a total disaster and the outcome was down to the one member who tried to save the show. All four of the cast gave very creditable performances all with a great deal of dialogue to remember which mainly they all did very well. Jane Davis playing a rather naïve Joyce got into the feel of the character and was suitably sweetly obliging even with Gordon’s put downs to her input within the group. Jan as Margaret gave a no nonsense experienced player trying to keep Gordon in control on the rules of committee meetings etc, but usually having to back pedal as he always seemed to get his own way. John Dearsley playing Bernard the Stage Manager ate many bananas and shouted a lot in a loud voice (all part of the script) .Like Joyce he was always trying to conjure up all sorts of scenery etc to placate Gordon. Gordon played by John Ellson gave a strong lead and sorted his committee/members (4) so that he remained in firm control at all times. I thought it was a very good choice for the group and the little extra touches here and there in the hall added to the feel of the show. At the interval we all had the choice of tea and buns served by the ladies in pinafores which was fun. It was good also just to spend an hour or so watching a play on a cold wet evening to cheer everyone up, which was very entertaining. Thank you so much for your warm welcome and hospitality.