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Silchester Players - Three One-act Plays

4th to 6th October 2001.

From the Newbury Weekly News:

A laugh with the luvvies

SILCHESTER PLAYERS: 'THREE IN A BED'; 'ACTORS AT WORK, REST AND PLAY': 'IN BY THE HALF', 'DISTRACTED GLOBE' AND 'CUP FINAL, at Silchester Village Hall, from Thursday, October 4 to Saturday, October 6

Intriguingly titled 'Three in a Bed' (or 'Actors at Work, Rest or Play'), Silchester Players presented three one act plays last week, directed by Keith Graham and Kevin Belcher with a common theme - actors.

In the first, 'ln By The Half' by Jimmie Chin, the action took place in the flat of Madam (Janet Taylor), a former actress. In an effective mix of comedy and poignancy, the ageing actress lives in a fantasy world of the past and is aided in this by her housekeeper Doris (Gaynor Keefe). The cosy world is blasted apart when Madam's estranged daughter turns up one day to tell her that she is dying of cancer and old conflicts surface in a mix of comedy and drama. Janet Taylor brought her great wealth of experience to bear on her role, with good facial expressions. As the daughter Ursula, Lyn Davies was perfectly cast; she is a talented actress and played the tricky role to perfection, and Nicola Bratt was impressive as the drama student Sylvia.

Act Two brought us 'Distracted Globe' by Nick Warburton. This took place at an after-show party of the play 'Hamlet'. There were good comedy performances from Gerry (Nick Lock) and Patsy (Sharon Macdonald-Grute) as they laid out the buffet (ham bridge rolls in honour of the play!) and Tony Oliver was splendid as the lecherous Eric, who turned every line into innuendo.

'Cup Final' by Charles Mander was the last play, which was set in the dressing room of the Polden Players after an amateur dramatics festival and much comedy was made of the situation. Sharon (Sarah Oliver) is revealed, head in hands, despairing at the disastrous events that befell her in her play. Joe, excellently played by Brian Gillet, appears in a monkey costume, followed by Martin (Nick Lock) hilariously dressed as a Gollywog, and furious because he fears his chances of being voted best actor have been dashed by the others. Good performances were also given by Geoff Murrell as the slightly camp director Raymond, Jill Hutchings (Alice) and Lyn Davies (Ophelia).

This was a very enjoyable production, but was marred by far too many prompts in all the plays. Whether this was first night nerves or lack of rehearsal, it was not of the usual very high standards. Silchester Players will present 'Panto at the OK Corral' early in the New Year.