The Compton Players web site is at www.comptonplayers.co.uk.
Scaramouche Jones, 6th December 2014
By Justin Butcher. The 31st December 1999, midnight approaches and the millennium festivities build towards the midnight climax. During the last hour of 1999, Scaramouche Jones, an aged circus clown prepares to meet his destiny, and recounts the story of his life. Having played the mime for fifty years, he chooses to break his silence and share his extraordinary story in a beguiling, beautiful, heartbreaking 90 minutes of storytelling. From being born in a Trinidadian slum, sold as a slave, becoming a snake charmer’s assistant, feted by an Italian Prince, gypsy traveller, inmate of a monastery, grave digger in a concentration camp, to the rattling eaves of Waterloo Bridge. These episodes of his life have each ingrained on him its own white mask – masks of emotion or environment; layers of the world he carries with him. And now, as each white mask is stripped away, along with his red nose, oversize shoes, clown wig, white gloves and tailcoat, he prepares to face the ‘ravishing nuptial embrace of that last goodnight’.
At the Village Hall, Compton (10 miles north of Newbury). Click here for a map.
Online via the web site, or 07767 268634.
About Compton Players
Compton Players have been producing plays every year since 1947. We always welcome new members, and we are looking not only for people who want to act, but also those who can construct scenery, or would like to learn how, those who can make or sew costumes, those with a knowledge of electrics and/or electronics, and those who would like to help with publicity, box-office and front of house. We normally rehearse on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and for most productions there are twelve weeks of rehearsals. It doesn't matter if you've had any previous experience or not.
Contact Compton Players
Our chairman is Tracey Pearce - contact her by .
Review of Poppy Field and Spare the Rod
19th to 22nd November 2014.
Review from the Newbury Weekly News.
Back to school
Compton Players: Poppy Field/Spare the Rod, at the Coronation Hall, Compton, from Wednesday, November 19 to Saturday, November 22
The players chose two one-act plays by member and local playwright H Connolly for their autumn production.
Poppy Field was about a young girl, Ms Field of the title, taking a work experience job at a publishing house under the reception area dragon, a fierce and menacing Mrs Kingsley, played vigorously by Mary Warrington. Poppy, played with a nice humorous touch by Naomi Read, gradually asserts herself in the face of great provocation and we are soon into what seems like a broad, somewhat ribald comedy, concerning Mrs Kingsley's amorous adventures with the caretaker, Daniel, portrayed by Dave Hawkins, with most of the 'activity' off stage but with some of the sound effects. The play then gradually segues into a ghost story, with the appearance of a young First World War soldier, Andy Alexander, leading to a surprise ending. The problem was that the 'gripping' ending was rather undermined by the lightweight comedy routines and sexual shenanigans of Kingsley and the caretaker and the play seemed to be neither one thing nor the other.
Full marks to the hard working cast and their stage movements though, well-paced and directed by the author.
The second play, Spare the Rod, presented even more difficulties. It is summer of 1965 and times are a-changin' in schools, (cue Bob Dylan music) the 11-plus is under threat, and the old guard of teachers are fiercely defending traditional methods against the new, young teachers coming in. Mark Bailey and Helen Saxton did well as the administrators trying to sort out an assault between old-style head Mr Dutton (Paul Shave) and the young, new ideas man, Mr Wheeler (Pete Watt). Liz Saxton gave an impressive performance as the older, bitter, Miss Gosling and again the acting and stage movement from all the cast was first-class. As to the in-fighting between old and new, the traditionalists against the new comprehensives, it all seemed to be rather overblown and exaggerated. Wheeler, as played by Pete Watt, was more of a caricature than a real 60s teacher and Paul Shave, as Dutton, needed more authority and sense of an unchanging, unchangeable dinosaur.
As with previous productions, the overall performances from the actors was extremely good and the stage direction was well-structured.
Poppy Field and Spare the Rod, 19th to 22nd November 2014
The Invisible Man, 14th to 17th May 2014. See the review in the archive.
Season's Greetings, 27th to 30th November 2013. See the review in the archive.
Murdered to Death, 24th to 27th April 2013. See the review in the archive.
The Happiest Days of Your Life, 28th November to 1st December 2012. See the review in the archive.
Dangerous Corner, 28th to 31st March 2012
Bobby Shaftoe, 10th to 12th November 2011
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, 11th to 14th May 2011
Three Short Comedies, 14th to 16th October 2010
What the Butler Saw, 21st to 24th April 2010
Halloween Murder Mystery, (October 2009)
The Unexpected Guest (October 2009)
Laying the Ghost (April 2009)
A Dog's Life and Jingle Bells, Batman Smells (November 2008)
Puppy Love (May 2008)
Macbeth (November 2007)
Shakers Re-Stirred (May 2007)
Nobody's Perfect (November 2006)
The Entertainer (May 2006)
Dad's Army (November 2005)
Don't Dress for Dinner (November 2004)
The Eighth Dwarf (February 2004)
Three One-Act Plays (April 2003)
Under Milk Wood (November 2002)
'Allo 'Allo (April 2002)
Katherine Howard (November 2001)
It Could Be Any One of Us (April 2001)
Dead Funny (November 2000)
Klondike Kalamity (April 2000)