Present Laughter

NOEL Coward’s semi-autobiographical comedy is a slice of life concerning a few days in the life of a self-obsessed comic actor as he prepares to sail off to an African tour. He is beset in his efforts to perform such preparations by the comings and goings of the various people in his life as the story descends into farce in the latter second half.


IT is really not at all helpful for me as a reviewer to be lost for words, but at this moment in time that’s exactly the situation in which I find myself. My problem is, you see, that I really hate those reviews which say a show is ‘as good as in the West End’, or such like, because generally speaking they are nothing of the sort. This one actually is, so where do I go from here?

1001 Arabian Nights And A Matinee

PERHAPS it was the fact that the panto season is really behind us now, perhaps it just wasn’t a very good script, perhaps it was the small size of the audience or perhaps it was simply that this relentless rain is beginning to get us all down, but in all honesty this really wasn’t one of the better evenings I’ve spent with the Players over the years.

Hello, Is There Any Body There?

THIS is a difficult play to classify. The clunking pun in the title suggests a comedy thriller, but there are two vital requirements for a comedy thriller, that it should be comic and that it should be thrilling, and this play by Ian Hornby is neither.

The Game Of Love

WE might have had a romantic candlelit supper at home or splashed out and gone to a restaurant to celebrate the Feast of St. Valentine, but instead we headed to (actually that should be ‘we were blown to’) Ferndown Village Hall where we found ourselves to be guests at a rather special event.

Guys And Dolls

NEW Milton’s Ballard School has long had a reputation for the excellence of its performing arts, with productions regularly selling out. As a consequence the school decided that this year it would perform its musical at the rather larger Regent Centre, and it seems they’ve sold out there too.

Natural Causes

IF I hadn’t known that the choice of this play was made several months ago I might easily have been persuaded that it had been chosen to reflect our current climate, as there are numerous references to the rain, and in particular the fact that the Thames valley is under water.

Private Lives

JUST the other week I was looking to book tickets for a particular West End musical and was horrified to find that seats in the stalls and circle were over £120 each, with ‘Premium’ seats in excess of £150 and even the gallery costing £90. No wonder then that this fairly new innovation, pre-recording London productions and beaming them out across the country, is catching on fast.


THIS was a real community pantomime with lots of local support for the children and adults involved. Clearly the audience knew the cast well as they vociferously helped the story along.


MOST of us are familiar with several of Jane Austen’s works, Pride and Prejudice being perhaps the most well-known, but it is rare to see Persuasion aired so this production, adapted and directed by Helen Watts, Artistic Director of Dorset Corset Theatre Company, is a real treat.


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