Neighbourhood Watch

Our April production "Neighbourhood Watch" presented a real challenge for those playing the male and female leads - Martin and Hilda, as they are on stage virtually the whole time. We were indebted To Oliver Pussey and Lisa Gladstone who stepped up to the mark and worked hard to do justice to these two characters.

Maggie Wallace joined us for the first time and returning after a short break was Matt Bush.

At the very moment when there is a lot of political comment about ‘our broken society’ and the need for a vigorous communal response. Alan Ayckbourn’s play as usual is’ right on the button’.

Things are not right on the Bluebell Hill development; theft, petty crime, vandalism and all the ills of modern suburban living are on the increase.

Newcomers to the estate, Martin and his sister Hilda- devout Christians, are the crime wave’s latest victims and resolve to take action. After all, the law of the land, all that’s right and proper and even God himself, are surely on their side!

A well-intentioned neighbourhood watch scheme, coupled with an innocent mistake, leads to an alarming escalation of events as the residents take extreme measures to protect themselves. This hilarious cautionary tale of the dangers of taking the law into your own hands is Alan Ayckbourn's seventy fifth play and shows a wonderful insight into human nature. It is a cracking good play that shows he still has an intuitive understanding of the flaws in our society.

We were grateful to David Richardson for directing this show, his first with the club; and also to our stage manager - Virginia Mayes-Wright.

Review - Northumberland Gazette

The show tells the story of how a well-intentioned neighbourhood watch scheme, coupled with an innocent mistake, leads to an alarming escalation of events as the residents take extreme measures to protect themselves.

The talented cast rose to the challenge of Ayckbourn's work - his 75th play in fact.

Oliver Pussey and Lisa Gladstone played Martin and Hilda Massie respectively and both coped very well in the lead roles. Tony Neale raised many laughs with his portrayal of Rod Trusser while Matt Bush gave an accomplished performance of the angry and aggressive Luther Bradley.

Wendy Richardson was deliciously flirtacious as Amy Janner while Maggie Wallace performed well on her debut.

Susan Joyce gave a superb busy-body feel to her character, Doroth Doggett, while Peter Biggers gave a fragility and vulnerability to Gareth Janner.

Director David Richardson - taking on his first play for the club - utilized the stage well, while clever use of offstage lighting and sound made the set feel larger than it was.