Courting & Consequences - August 2014

Our August production, "Courting and Consequences" consisted of four one act plays covering a range of situations. We had "The Proposal" by Anton Chekhov; "Knightsbridge" by Sir John Mortimer; "Resting Place" by David Campton and "Chinamen" by Michael Frayn.

These farcical and irreverent glimpses of wooing, wedding and married life offer perfect summer’s entertainment and, as they come from the pens of writers as diverse as Neil Simon and Anton Chekhov, audiences can expect an evening of infinite variety.

The plays were produced and directed by Tony Neale, and our stage manager was Virginia Mayes-Wright.

Review - Northumberland Gazette

My favourite was first up - The Proposal, a farce penned by Anton Chekhov. The cast of Daniel Watkins, Trevor Hughes and Lisa Gladstone handled the tongue twisting script with aplomb and very few slip ups. A great effort.

Next was Knightsbridge by Sir John Mortimer, which tells the more flippant tale of a daughter (Lisa Kelly) and her fiance (Matt Bush) who overhear her mother's (Catherine Hughes) telephone conversation and believes she is "on the game". There are plenty of rib-tickling double entendres, as the mother's smokescreen is an antique furniture business. The cast (completed by Tony Neale) did well to keep the momentum going throughout.

Resting place by David Campton, brought the pace down a notch or two after the interval, as an elderly couple (Robin Lewsey and Margaret Neale) talk life, death and supper-time on a cemetery bench. This provided a gentle, touching interlude between the madness of the farces, well acted and definitely moving.

Finally Maggie Wallace and Peter Biggers took on the huge challenge of playing several parts (complete with different voice tones, accents and costumes) in Michael Frayn's Chinamen. It is set in a 1970s dinner party that goes horribly wrong when a jilted husband gets invited along to the same occasion as his departed wife. it was a brave attempt and one that would have improved as the week goes on.