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South East
posted/updated: 09 Jun 2018 -
AN EVENING OF COMEDY ONE ACT PLAYS: For My Final Act; Look After the Cat, Darling; Look for the Silver Lining
by Cheryl Barrett
society/company: Cowes Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society (directory)
performance date: 07 Jun 2018
venue: Trinity Theatre, The Grove, Cowes, Isle of Wight.
reviewer/s: Bob Heather (Sardines review)

I took a trip to the lovely Isle of Wight to visit Trinity Theatre in Cowes this week to see ‘An Evening of Comedy One-Act plays’ all written and directed by the talented Cheryl Barrett.

The first, For My Final Act, started very well but lost some pace towards the end. A cleverly written piece, I felt that a couple of cast members could have done with just a little extra rehearsal time - however, we can’t really blame the actors as some of them had never trodden the boards before and a couple had been drafted in quite late on. It was a great way for them to get acquainted with the ways of the stage.

There were several of performances that really stood out. Joan Savill playing the role of Peggy Peterson was excellent, although only on for very short bursts. One of those moments required her to sing, which she did with gusto and greatness. Pete Harris was very well cast in his role as Solly Finesteen. He was believable in all his moves, his voice just right for the part and great to watch. Gwen Stevens as Mavis Crowther was very good. Not a big role, but she made it her own.

The next play on the agenda, Look After the Cat, Darling, was a three-hander in which the whole cast excelled. Steve Kimpton (Jonty) was excellent throughout, acting with his face and expressions as well as words and movements (something many actors overlook). Vicky Quilter and Pete Harris playing husband and wife Sarah and Graham, were both well matched and worked well together making them very believable. I would love to see these three work together again.

The third play was Look for the Silver Lining and was probably the funniest play out of the three - it had me (and the rest of the audience) in stitches. A four-hander comprising of husband, wife, daughter and one of the worst mother’s-in-laws that you can imagine.

George (Duncan Greaves) was horrified to learn that his M-I-L was coming to stay for a week, although his wife Alison (Emma Shelly) seems to be all-for the visit. However, you could see it in her eyes that she really wasn’t too confident about it either. Both Greaves and Shelly played their roles beautifully. Daughter, Katie (Iien Lamplough-Birch), was sympathetic to her grannie but still got more and more exasperated as the play progressed – not easy to act, but she did it very well indeed.

Mother-in-law, Nora (Dinah Bowman), was a joy to watch. She had everything down to the enth degree. Her timing was spot-on right through, putting in pauses that were just right for enhancing the comedy of the play.

The three plays were all well directed and produced by Cheryl and her assistant, Carolyn Ferguson. The set was well-suited to all three pieces and without much adjustment required to change from one to another, thanks to Mike Buckett, Dean Finlayson and their team.

Lighting and sound were just right for the show thanks to Peter Fergusson, Alex Quilter and John Pollard, along with some wonderful interval piano playing by John Pollard.

I really enjoyed my trip to the island and thoroughly relished the plays. Looking forward to heading back for their next production.

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