Date 11th November 2021
Society Middlesbrough Little Theatre Limited
Venue Middlesbrough Theatre
Type of Production Play
Director Thelma Russell


Author: Jean Scarlett-Carr

MLT in conjunction with Billingham Players brought us “Twinkle”, a play by Philip Meeks that is a one-man play of a panto Dame Harold Thropp, who whilst preparing to play Window Twanky reflects on his life from personal tragedy, professional past roles, to current disappointments and enraging co-stars. 

The performance from Scott Ayling as Harold was just a true joy, the great clarity in his voice along with his perfect diction meant every word spoken was heard, and there were very many.  Not once was a prompt required or script stalled throughout the 45 minutes act I and 30 minutes act II, that flowed with ease and were so good to watch and listen to.  His characterisations of the people he encountered each had their own personifications, voices and accents specific to them, that portrayed these many people clearly, whilst Harold was also so well maintained throughout. The “business” required to perform this part was so ably carried out by Scott, that it was totally natural and encompassing in the character, from dutiful cleaning tasks to the transformation of utilities man into Dame, the stage use and props utilised all added to the skill required, and very nicely directed by Thelma Russell.

The set was simple fixed room, drab squalid dressing room, that provided the picture of behind scenes theatre very well, with lighting changes slick, and lovely sound track additions too to add atmospheric effects of his thoughts.   The topics within the script are wide and varied, yet thought provoking, poignant, relevant as well as witty, though scattered with some very choice language.  The emotional rollercoaster taken through the story had all varieties of feelings, comedy of panto character, sadness of past phobias, fun in theatre life, anger of family divisions, bitterness of legal out-laws, and shock of criminal activity that were all portrayed excellently in this fabulous performance.  The final appearance of Dame in traditional colourful costume, wig and full make up was joyous to watch, effective and completed with ease by Scott.  This one actor had the audience captivated for the full evening and deserved the full applause received at the end of a tremendous piece of theatre performance.  Well done all in making this happen and especially to Scott Ayling on his wonderful performance.