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The Unvarnished Truth

Date

18th April 2019

Society

The Pierrot Players

Venue

Shelley Village Hall

Type of Production

Play

Director

John Varlow

Report

Author: Sue Cox

Tom and Annabel are reasonably happy married couple.  One Evening they have an argument as to who loves the other most. A rough  and tumble ensues, and Tom discovers to his horror that Annabel is dead.  So starts a hectic evening of black farce, which also involves a policeman and Tom's literary agent.  It seems no woman can enter the house without rapidly becoming deceased.  Annabel's mother and Tom's appalling landlady follow and disposal of bodies becomes an acute problem.  The arrival of a police inspector complicates matters until a further corpse involves him too.

John's direction was first class.  Setting the play in the center of the hall and working to three sides of the auditorium worked exceptionally well.

Tom Bryce - A very challenging role, played by Andy Firth.  He gave a excellent, and confident performance, with lots of mind-boggling dialogue as he tried to work out how he could solve the problems of the ladies that were  dying around his feet.  When the police arrive in the form of Bert Hopkins played by Roger Bedford, and Bill Carlisle, Tom's literary agent  played by David Smith, they too were dragged into the situation, with more ladies "dying" and being hidden away in the downstairs bathroom.  Their stories of how it all happened got more complicated, changing at every possible moment,up to a point were even they didn't believe the stories themselves.  Roger and David gave great performances.  These three actors had copious amounts of dialogue and the way they fed off each other was very good.   Likewise a good performance from Alan Huff, playing  the role as the Inspector, he too didn't get away without being involved in the mayhem.

Annabel Bryce, Tom's loving wife, played by Fiona Firth; Mrs. Cartwright, Tom's mother-in-law, played by Karen Bedford; Mrs Stewart Dubonnet,  Tom's nasty landlady played by Sue Brewer, and Isabel the eccentric friend of  Mrs. Cartwright played by Amanda Jackson.  I cannot give enough praise for these ladies.  They all gave superb performances, and to have to been dragged around the stage by their legs and then all of them pushed into a downstairs loo, - great pieces of comedy.

Although Julie Kaye, playing the role of Dr Sarah Smedley made an appearance at the end of the play, she got a very big laugh  when the Inspector  just said two words to her.

To make a comedy work well you require a good cast and a good direction and this production ticked all the boxes.  A special mention must go to the set designers and construction team for an excellent set.  Congratulations  to everyone involved - this production was thoroughly enjoyed by myself and the audience.  Thank you for the invite and the hospitality.