The Wednesday Players
The Final Curtain Review
Wednesday Players The Final Curtain
Director – Julie Robertson
Performed at The Dixon Studio, Westcliff-on-Sea on Friday 23 September 2016 at 7.30pm
This was a very entertaining play, extremely funny dialogue which Director Julie Robertson took full advantage of. Set in a retirement home for retired theatrical folk, it gave the cast plenty of opportunities for comedy, most within the dialogue but, I suspect, quite a lot that was created in rehearsal.
There were some lovely light touches to the blocking too, I particularly liked the way Walter (Grahame Marshall) traced his last performing tour by using the jigsaw puzzle as a map. That was a great piece of theatre.
All the cast were on form; Graham gave a great performance as the slightly posh ‘thespian’ Walter Lange and Dorrie Marshall provided a perfect partnership with him as Netta Pugh. I loved their ‘Brief Encounter’.
Nick Poth played comedian Frank Rossiter with great energy, Nick is a natural comedian and this part was absolutely perfect for his talents. The character was required to be upbeat throughout and Nick managed to bring just the right amount of desperation to the part without spoiling the copmesdy effect. Pauline Sandgrove played Marcia Graham and here is another strong character actor, she had some great lines and made the most of them. Their Sonny and Cher duet was absolutely hilarious, I and the entire audience were in fits of laughter.
Meg Kennedy played slightly dotty Maude Anderson to perfection, with some lovely facial expressions! Skippy Mann (Rev Sebastian Coote) brought just a slight touch of ‘campness’ to the character, which gave it some depth. The younger members of the cast all played their parts well; Claire Curtis provided a great characterisation as the cleaner Ida Broome, Lauren Skedge was home Manager Miriam Stoker, Yasmin Milla was the young nurse Janet and Dan Stephens played film director Campbell Ruswick with great style.
The cast was completed by Denis Foot playing Rossiter’s agent, Lance Eversley, Maureen Sexton and Carol Pace playing Nora and Rose, with some really nice acting going on the whole time. And, finally Brian Kelly with the almost non-speaking part of Arthur Grunge. It’s not easy to just sit there on stage and pretend to be asleep most of the time. Brian got the cues right on time, adding to the enjoyment of the plotline.
I was surprised to note, from the programme notes, that this play was only written in 2006, it had the style of a play written when good, clean, fun was the what theatre was all about. It is a great play and absolutely perfect for the members of the company who performed it.
The scenery was excellent, beautifully portraying the drawing room of this retirement home, with a lot of light and interesting touches. Costumes were also excellent with plenty of changes as would be the case for these retired performers.
The accompanying music created just the right atmosphere. Overall, a terrific production and a great evening’s entertainment.
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