Woman In MInd

Date 22nd April 2023
Society Cobham Players
Venue Cobham Village Hall
Type of Production Play
Director Cathy Hudson

Report

Author: E Gloria Smith

I was delighted to be back reviewing a production by Cobham Players and what a complicated and challenging play it was!

The set of a garden complete with debris, plants and gardening paraphernalia was realistic and the use of the steps to the stage gave an extra feeling of depth to the scene. The costume plot was imaginative, reflecting and complementing the colours in the garden, and the properties/furniture were appropriate.

Samantha Myers gave a magnificent performance as Susan, flitting from her fantasy world to her real-life one, and as the play progressed it became more disturbing to watch it happening. Her diction was first rate; every word could be heard even when she was near the back of the stage. She must have been absolutely drained after the last, totally surreal scene.

As her real life husband Gerald, Stuart Evans made a convincing man of the cloth. He acted the part strongly and had the most wonderful facial expressions. Susan and he were in a loveless marriage and he was totally self-absorbed.

Her fantasy husband, played by Steve Black, was everything that Gerald wasn’t - affectionate and fun loving. Their relationship was beautifully portrayed and Steve Black played the part most effectively.

The fantasy daughter was also totally unlike the real son.

In the role of Lucy, Charlotte Coulson was loving and sympathetic, everything one would want a daughter. She gave a good performance.

Rick, the son, arrived home after not speaking to his parents for years but unfortunately it was only a brief and upsetting visit as he had no intention of ever letting his mother meet his wife. That was a really sad conclusion to his homecoming and so hurtful to Susan. Finton McCluskey played the role soundly.

Gerald’s sister Muriel tried so hard to get things right but failed miserably and Elaine Kingston depicted her perfectly. Her dialogue wasn’t quite loud enough when she was at the back of the stage on the garden bench with Gerald. I enjoyed the contrast shown in her fantasy character when she became a maid in a short skirt.

Ian Creese epitomised the bumbling country GP and was very good in the role - occasionally he too could have projected a little more.

Graham Budd acquitted himself well as the fantasy brother Tony.

 

Sound effects were excellent, especially the rain during the night when Susan was asleep on the lawn.

The lighting plot established the fantasy world from the real world and was very effective.

The play was a most thought provoking one and the cast, under Cathy’s praiseworthy direction, presented a secure and well -rehearsed piece for the audience’s appreciation. It was a strange and rather disconcerting concept but there was also humour in it and the final scene, when the characters were dressed so strangely, was exactly like a bizarre dream.

Your programme is nicely presented and contains plenty of interesting information.

It was good to meet Cathy on the evening and to see some old friends once again.

Thank you for inviting me to see ‘Woman In Mind’ and for the kind hospitality shown to my guest and I. It was a most enjoyable evening.