Kiss Me Like You Mean It - May 2017

Award Winning Drama - NODA

Four cast on stage who acted with conviction to give us an evening of pure magic through their sensitive acting in this charming, moving and bittersweet tale.  We were spell bound and engrossed throughout the whole production with the efforts of this talented, hardworking and committed cast - the award goes to 

Alnwick Theatre Club for “Kiss me like you mean it.”

May 2017

A Colourful Offering from Alnwick Theatre Club tells the story of young and old love alike. "Kiss Me Like You Mean It" A Play Written by Chris Chibnall for our May 2017 production.

On a midsummer’s night Tony and Ruth meet at a party in a shabby terrace house in Manchester. Next door Don and Edie, married for years, are having a party of their own, only gradually does its purpose become apparent. As the night progresses love is in air.

The young couple were played by newcomer Molly Reading and Harry Brierley, who discovered his thespian talents at The Duchess’s High School where he performed in various musicals and plays, notably playing Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights.

The more mature couple was performed by Oliver Pusey and Carol Lawrence, who have previously played the title roles in Alnwick Theatre Club’s productions of Amadeus and Educating Rita.

Produced and directed by Ben Kinloch and co-directed by Susan Joyce, the stage manager was Virginia Mayes-Wright, sound John Firth and lighting by Andy Hunt.

Review - Northumberland Gazette

Alnwick Theatre Club’s Kiss Me Like You Mean It by Chris Chibnall sent out shockwaves during its four-night stint last week. 

Youngsters Tony and Ruth meet outside a house party. As love blossoms, we are interrupted by Don and Edie, a couple whose 40-year marriage has inspired a party of their own. We come to realise that their wild behaviour is inspired by a tragic truth, Don’s imminent death. The pair cannot live without one another and resolve to end it all after a night of drink, sex and rock and roll. 

The actors managed to hold the stage impressively from beginning to end. The younger couple, played by newcomer Molly Reading and partner Harry Brierley, were incredibly natural and convincing.

Comic interjections from the older couple, played by Carol Lawrence and Oliver Pusey, set an hilarious, but bizarre backdrop. The chemistry between them was a treat to behold. The combination of nostalgia, tenderness and moments of comic genius left audiences with tears of empathy and laughter in equal measures. 

All involved did a fantastic job, inspiring laugh-out-loud moments and tears. As Ben Kinloch’s directorial debut, this play represents a refreshing, brave and ambitious choice. 

The standing ovation reflected the buzz felt by everyone.

Review - NODA

Alnwick Theatre Club always gives us an evening of exceptional drama and this production was no exception. It was simply excellent! This vibrant and engaging play, told a charming, moving and bittersweet tale focussed around love and companionship. Through the characters of Tony, Ruth, Don and Edie we were able to witness and grasp the many measurable aspects of love. Within Chris Chibnall’s well compromised piece the audience were able to relate I am sure to many experiences in the field of love, whatever they may be.

The piece opened to a very authentic but simple set which worked exceptionally well and with very effective lighting it was very easy to fully engage with the actors and be drawn into the ambience of the plot. The four actors had a lot of dialogue to learn and they were word perfect and very convincing in their roles.  Care had been taken with props to make sure they were of the era and the same can be said of costumes.

Ruth played by Molly Reading was to be found sitting at 3 a.m. in the back garden in one of the two terraced houses on stage. She was joined by Tony played by Harry Brierley.  They were extremely well matched and worked well together in their characters. Molly is new to the society and gave a stalwart performance. Harry with his experience, really was outstanding.  Their whole dialogue together in their many scenes came across with humour, tenderness and they were very convincing in all their scenes both on their own and with the other couple and were able to act with insight into the situations.

The play ambled along at a good pace and we were quickly drawn into the plot but with enough leeway not to reveal the touching nature of what was to come. The entrances of Edie played by Carol Lawrence and Don played by Oliver Pusey raised the level even more. These two are very experienced in taking leading roles in this company and tonight they were just superb. The difficult subject of illness and the formality of no long term recovery was highlighted by these two in very memorable performances especially given the nature that the terminal illness was imminent.  Their committed love to each other and how they would eventually handle the difficult subject of taking and ending a life in their own hands enthralled and moved us to tears.  Carol is a joy to watch, she is committed and is so involved in the part that one is convinced that this really is happening and it is not just a play. Oliver through his effortless way of delivering his dialogue against Carol got us all on the edge of our seats and drawn into the whole tragic but touchingly loving situation. They both portrayed, love, anger, frustration, humour, fear and commitment to each other in outstanding performances.

For a debut, as a young Director of this play of Black Comedy; Ben Kinloch is to be congratulated for his mature insight into convincingly leading us through the story and its emotive content. His coaching of the actors and sensitive approach to the piece gave us night of superb drama, food for thought, leaving us the audience captivated into a touching situation. My sincere congratulations Ben, it was a delight to talk to you afterwards and hear of your innovative approach to directing this production. You have a bright future ahead of you I am sure.  To everyone involved thank you for a professional and wonderful evening of pure drama.