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

Newbury Dramatic Society - A Fishy Business

14th July 2007, as part of HADCAF.

From the Newbury Weekly News.

Feel of the era

A Fishy Business, at the Croft Hall, Hungerford, on Saturday, July 14

The real star of Margaret Wood's one-act comedy is Tiddles the cat, who is never seen. It is Tiddles who ruins George and Mary's dinner party by eating the salmon caught, we understand, by Uncle Richard and when the poor old feline is discovered dead shortly afterwards, it seems that the hosts have inadvertently poisoned not only their guests but their hippy son and his girlfriend.

Set in the '70s, that era when we were all popping out in our Laura Ashley's every Saturday for dinner parties, which were the sociable must-do of the time, the Newbury Dramatic Society players captured the feel of the era exactly.

Mike Brook, as George the reluctant host, was particularly comfortable on stage, even minus his trousers; Zandra Forder put over the role of the over-anxious Mary well, describing herself as 'a donkey on a treadmill', which all women will understand, though I did think any hostess would have burst into tears rather more dramatically on finding the main course had disappeared moments before the guests arrived.

The vicar and his wife (Paul Firman and Fenella Newton) were beautifully sombre - why they were ever asked anywhere escapes me - while Elizabeth Gibbons obviously relished her role as the butch Emmeline Wagstaffe, maintaining that strident voice throughout.

Like Mike Brook, Mike Cole made the character of Uncle Richard, a laidback liar, completely believable, Neil Edlin was suitably awful as the Lennon lookalike son and Sue Watts correctly lacked 'a vibrant personality' as his ghastly girlfriend.

Were they all poisoned? Of course not, the unfortunate Tiddles, it turned out, had been run over by Neil.

Short, to the point, funny; this was a good choice of play, enjoyably performed as directed by Sylvia Knight and an excellent addition to the HADCAF programme.