The Titfield Thunderbolt
24th April 2013
Codsall Village Hall
Type of Production
Author: Alf Rai
Based on the 1953 British comedy film The Titfield Thunderbolt, the story follows a group of villagers trying to prevent British Railways from closing the Titfield to Mallingford line. Also facing opposition from the scheming Vernon Crump, owner of bus company Omnibuses and played brilliantly by Ann Escritt as a man, the community has its job cut out to save the service.
The cast of 10 took on a total of 15 roles between them but the changes were seamless and often comic in delivery. Tom Churn played two different characters, Harry Crump and Sergeant Wilson which delighted the crowd whenever the other actors asked about the whereabouts of his other alias. David Cotterill took on the parts of Dan, Mr Ruddock, Mrs. Bottomley and delivered all his lines with good comedy timing and bags of charm.
Chris Fairhurst (Mr. Blakeworth and part-time train driver Sam Weech, who also doubled up as the Vicar) and Karen Evans (Joan Weech and Miss Coggett) were excellent in multiple roles.
Good support also from Wendy Peterson as a man (Mr. Valentine), Ann Hayward as a man (Clegg) and Josh Carter (Clifton)
But it was Lady Edna Chesterfield (played by Anne Bowman) who for me, stole the show. Her passionate speeches drew in the audience for applause on a number of occasions.
Audience participation was encouraged throughout the play and then the crowd became the saviours of the day when they were asked to pass down an array of different water containers to stop the train from blowing up.
I must mention the very impressive stage set, all built by the company, which along with the imaginative use of village hall complimented with excellent lighting, sound effects and well made props, all in all made this a very entertaining evening.