THERE were, apparently, 85 episodes – or about forty two and a half hours’ worth - of this comedy shown on TV during the 1980s, but you’ll be relieved to hear that this stage version is condensed considerably and runs for just slightly over two hours, including an interval.
AMAZINGLY, RMDS has been going strong for 100 years, hence the title of this annual event which I always look on as my end of term treat, since it is generally the last production before a short break in local theatre shows.
I never make any secret of the fact that this annual summer show is one of the highlights of my theatrical year. The format, certainly in this area, is unique – three separate ‘mini shows’ performed simultaneously in three separate rooms, with the audience (also divided into three) seeing each of the shows over the course of the evening and fortified by complimentary nibbles ( and they still have those wonderful blue cheese rolls!) during the breaks.
I’ve always rather fancied the idea of going to a health farm to be pampered for a few days, but after watching this comedy farce by Derek Benfield I’ll maybe think again. It is set in just such an establishment, where a businessman has gone for a relaxing break – which quickly becomes anything but, as his secretary, his daughter and his wife arrive in rapid succession.
I've always rather fancied the idea of going to a health farm to be pampered for a few days, but after watching this comedy farce by Derek Benfield I’ll maybe think again. It is set in just such an establishment, where a businessman has gone for a relaxing break – which quickly becomes anything but, as his secretary, his daughter and his wife arrive in rapid succession.
CHRISTMAS – the very mention of the word is enough to fill many a sane person with dread at the thought of having to spend time with those we would prefer to run a mile to avoid. Perfect material then for a playwright who specialises in revealing heartache behind laughter.
I have just spent an evening shouting out loud, clapping and singing Old MacDonald Had a Farm, which can only mean one thing – yes, it’s panto time again and Lighthouse has been transformed into Old Peking (near Liverpool) for the next few weeks.
AFTER a break from this genre for several years NFP are back in the land of boo and hiss and in their old home, the Memorial Hall, which felt considerably cosier than I remembered it. I’d remembered too that they used to do panto awfully well, so it was not really a surprise to find that they certainly haven’t lost their touch.
ON a wet evening, with a gale blowing outside, I would have liked nothing more than to be at home in the warm. However, needs must so instead of a cosy night in we braved the elements and set off for the depths of the New Forest.
IT is perhaps unusual to begin a review by focusing on the set, but even by BLTC’s high standards this one was outstanding and – forgive the pun – set the scene well for what was to follow. Built, as usual, in-house by company members (take a bow designer Alastair Griffith, who also designed the excellent lighting), it looked exactly like I would imagine a house in up-market Pangbourne to be. I hesitate to mention the slight irritant of a crooked picture at the rear of the set, as I suspect the director would tell me it was intentional, but …
IT was pleasing to see an almost full house for P&P on Thursday evening, particularly given that the temperature was far more conducive to a night curled up by the fire, but this company’s reputation is such that audiences know they are unlikely to be disappointed. And indeed we weren’t, with three very different plays providing a great evening’s entertainment.
I’VE long been a fan of Tom Lehrer’s wonderfully satirical songs but only came upon Bob Newhart’s comedic monologues a couple of years ago, when a friend played me one of his LPs. Since both Americans are now in their 80s I doubt that many in this country have ever seen them performing live, learning to love them instead from their recordings, from shows like Tomfoolery or perhaps from a tribute-type evening such as this.
WHAT a pity that more people did not support this absolutely first-class concert, which was surely the jewel in the crown of the many Silhouette charity fund-raisers that Jon & Victoria Andrew have held over the years.
SOMETIMES all the ingredients in a show come together to create an almost perfect whole – but it doesn’t happen by chance so every congratulation must go to the company and their production team of Lee Redwood (director), Jean Roach (musical director) and Sonia Gilson (choreographer) for their hard work in providing such a thoroughly enjoyable evening’s entertainment that is a credit to everyone involved.
FOR reasons too complicated to explain I found myself reviewing the dress rehearsal of this production rather than an actual performance, but luckily there were enough of us watching for the performers to get at least some audience reaction – and very positive it seemed too.
WOS is celebrating its centenary this year, and this rarely performed musical proves the perfect vehicle for the society to show off its many talents. This morning, as the rain lashed down, I did wonder why I’d agreed to make the 75 mile round trip necessary for me to review the show, but I’m so glad I made the effort and I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.
NOEL Coward’s 1941 witty comedy about how past relationships can, quite literally, come back to haunt us, is arguably one of his best pieces of writing. In, and prior to, my reviewing career I have sat through innumerable productions of Blithe Spirit but in all truth I don’t think I have ever seen one as well crafted as this particular one, taken at a pace that ensures every one of Coward’s words is heard and appreciated yet never too fast or too slow.