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Compton Players - A Tomb With a View

22nd to 25th April 2015

Review from the Newbury Weekly News.

Death becomes them

Compton Players' homicidal comedy thriller

Compton Players: A Tomb with a View, at Compton village hall, from Wednesday, April 22, to Saturday, April 25

Well, it is described as a comedy thriller, although spoof thriller might be a better description. Norman Robbins came up with his play in 1978 and it remains his most popular work.

All the ingredients for an oddball thriller are in place with the cast; first a homicidal woman who poisons people and buries them in the garden, a part relished by Brenda Prior.

Then there is a brother of hers who thinks he is Julius Caesar and dresses in a toga, slightly underplayed by Paul Shave. Jasmine Gartshore gave a spirited performance as another sister, Emil, and Mark Bailey as the bumbling Lucien was, perhaps, a wee bit over the top in his performance.

Charlie East was somewhat miscast as the unlikely babe magnet, Peregrine Potter; he needed glamming up. Helen Saxton did well as nymphomaniac Monica, and her family were well represented by Liz Saxton as Agatha and Eric Saxton as the lawyer, this last a well studied and observed performance indeed.

Another fine acting performance came from Naomi Read as the nurse, who had to go through more than one change of character during the course of three acts.

Lauren Eeley, as Freda, had a small part and not much to do but she did it well enough.

The production, directed skilfully by Tracey Pearce, flowed along reasonably well, maybe a fraction slower than it should, but well acted, good positioning on stage throughout and yes, even a colourful, slightly creepy setting.

A strange choice of play maybe, but overall this was yet another successful production for the Compton Players.