Watermill Young Company - The Clodly Light Opera and Drama Society
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Watermill Young Company - The Clodly Light Opera and Drama Society

9th to 12th November 2011

This review is from the Newbury Weekly News.

Clodly's call to arms

Women fight back at their men and their promiscuous, spendthrift, warlike ways

Watermill Young Company: The Clodly Light Opera and Drama Society, at The Watermill, Bagnor, from Wednesday, November 9 to Saturday, November 12

Candy is a mighty maiden with a Theatre mission. She's also a woman betrayed by her philandering bank manager husband Derek (Christopher Evans) and turns to amateur dramatics to fill her days, while also making money for a Good Cause.

The setting is Clodly Village Hall - sepia picture of the Queen, best kept village poster, small, sad bunch of balloons. Candy welcomes those who have answered her advertisements for new members for the Clodly LO and D Society.

The eight eager thespians include gay Frankie, three women who have succumbed to Derek's charms (one of whom, the flighty Nadine, is expecting his baby), the older Nancy and Dorothy who have 'shared' Sidney ("splitting his love like a Kit-Kat") for many years, Lesley (a nicely-judged performance from Charlotte Metcalfe) and Lucy, both of whom have then- own man problems.

A strange man with cabbage leaves in his hair has been discovered in the hall and joins in, while having no idea of his identity.

Having vented her fury on her husband's lovers, Candy (an enjoyably over-the-top posh bitch performance from Kitty McIlroy Speed) decides to take a leaf from Lysistrata's book and encourages all (including Frankie) to withhold their favours from the men until they not only mend their ways sexually, but also donate vast sums of their illegally accrued money to the Good Cause.

How it all works out - and who Cabbage Man is - I will not tell you in case you catch this play elsewhere. There are a myriad gems in writer/director Ade Morris's very funny script, some of which get lost, so slick is the dialogue.

I loved Candy saying to pregnant Nadine: "We'll sit down over a Danish pastry and re-assess your moral values," and Jak Ford-Lane, excellent as the optimistic Frankie, including the Cats Protection League in his list of good things about England. Quite right too.

Particular bouquets must go to Elsa Leuty for a nicely-pitched performance as the feckless, lovely Nadine.

Snatches of piano music from Carl Calow accompanied this successful, fast-moving production in which the actors of the Watermill Young Company did justice to their own talents and Ade Morris's consistently entertaining play.

CAROLINE FRANKLIN