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Silchester Players - Sing On!

8th to 9th and 15th to 16th October 2010.

Sing On!

Sing On is a sequel to the very popular Play On, a comedy about the trials and tribulations of the Chestersil Players and the irrepressible Phyllis Montague (Janice Garrard), an amateur playwright whose interference in the Players' rehearsals nearly drives them to the edge of insanity.

Regrettably to the Players' horror Phyllis is back, joined by her song-writing nephew Monte (Brian Gillett). Phyllis has an interesting proposition for the Players: if they will agree to stage her show and allow Monte to be Musical Director then they will be given £10,000 from the Bess Boosters, an American theatrical committee who base their works around Queen Elizabeth 1 or “Good Queen Bess”.

Phyllis has written a script for them (called for some unknown reason “Chicken Coquette”) so the reluctant Players resign themselves to working with her once more.

As disaster follows disaster it becomes a race against time: can the Chestersil Players produce a creditable production despite Phyllis and Monte's continual interventions? Particularly as Monte has booked the satellite link (so the Bess Boosters can see the production) 24 hours earlier than planned…

This was quite a difficult production to stage as the cast essentially play two characters: the actors, and the parts they play in “Chicken Coquette”. Tony Oliver who played Saul Watson nearly brought the house down with his portrayal of Walter Raleigh and William Shakespeare – complete with authentic regional accents!

Amy Carter was impressive as Smitty, one of the younger members of the Chestersil Players – an essentially straight role but also turned in an admiral portrayal of Queen Bess herself. Fiona Rackham as Polly Benish in her first acting role with the Players showed great promise. It is to be hoped that she is seen in future productions.

The overlong first act dragged in places although this was not the fault of the Silchester Players but the hilarious second act more than made up for any disappointment.  A most enjoyable evening.