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

Compton Players - The Invisible Man

14th to 17th May 2014.

Review from the Newbury Weekly News.

Disappearing act

Compton Players: The Invisible Man, at Coronation Hall, Compton, from Wednesday, May 14 to Saturday, May 17

Based on the well-known novel by HG Wells, playwright Ken Hill's play was written as part-drama, part-comedy and part-farce.

Compton Players relished all the aspects of the work with a lively and well-paced production that was full of well performed special effects. You don't often go to a theatre and see a man take off his head bandages and gloves to reveal... absolutely nothing!

Compton Players managed it and also a sequence where one minute you saw him and the next he'd gone.

Then there was a scene where a naked, invisible man ran riot around a room, causing havoc. The actors had to wrestle themselves to the ground or appear to be punched, or groped by the invisible presence and it was all done convincingly.

The cast were all very good in a fine demonstration of ensemble acting. Eric Saxton actually played five parts but was most impressive as Colonel Adye. Tracey Pearce and Naomi Read did well as the Landlady and bar girl and Ellie Selby put in a strong performance as an early feminist. She also had to struggle with an unfamiliar Scottish accent but overall did very well.

Thomas Marvel was played for laughs by H Connolly and very well too. Ian Hickling made a good MC and there were good supporting performances by Charlie East, Nick Roberts and Pete Watt as Griffin, the Invisible man.

Special effects were very impressive, particularly the now you see him, now you don't illusion.

Sound effects, music of the period and lighting were all on cue and all pulled together by director Phil Prior and I can just imagine the work involved pulling that little lot off effectively. Everybody did well, minimal but effective settings were impressive and the pacing was pretty good. All in all, a production for the players to be proud of.