site search by freefind advanced

 Connecting professional and amateur theatre in Newbury, West Berkshire and beyond

Boundary Players - Outside Edge

9th to 13th May 2006.

This was the NWN review.

Hit to Boundary

Boundary Players: Outside Edge, at The William Penney Theatre, AWE Aldermaston, from Tuesday May 9 to Saturday May 13

It may have been a little damp underfoot, but rain didn't stop play in Aldermaston, where Boundary Players performed Richard Harris' popular cricketing comedy Outside Edge to a small but appreciative audience.

Outside Edge brings together five unlikely members of a village cricket team and their partners before and during a big match. Set in an old-fashioned pavilion, the tense and humorous relationships between the characters become increasingly fraught, while team captain Roger (oblivious to the problems around him) struggles in vain to steer his players to victory.

The first act of the play, as the characters were introduced, took a while to get going, and the players' performance suffered from a few pauses and wobbly lines in the early stages. Nevertheless, the pace quickly picked up and, by the second half, the cast were all working well together to great comic effect.

Steve Schollar gave a strong and confident performance as the hapless captain Roger, while Sue Barham as his long-suffering wife Miriam settled well into her demanding role after a slightly uncertain start.

Richard Mier was suitably shifty as the philandering Bob, and Pat Archer gave a good (if slightly static) performance as his wife Ginnie. Clive Lewington came across well as Dennis and David Stephenson brought out the character of the self-absorbed Alex with some flair, nicely matched with Heather Seabrooke as his abandoned girlfriend Sharon. But it was Alice Grundy as the larger-than-life Maggie and Gavin Crow as the meekly demanding Kevin that stole the show. Their amorous exchanges and passionate embraces showed expert timing and added real depth to the humour of the performance.

Colin Webb's firm direction, producer Paul Robinson's impressive set (I particularly liked the old public coin phone complete with buttons A and B), and the usual strong organisation front of house combined to provide a fine evening's entertainment in Aldermaston's impressive little theatre.