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Newbury Dramatic Society - The Interview

21st to 23rd April 2016.

Reviews from the Newbury Weekly News.

More stings than a serpent's tail

Nick Card's play was the real star of the evening

Newbury Dramatic Society: The Interview, at Ace Space, Newbury, from Thursday, April 21, to Saturday, April 23

I've had a few interviews in my time for various jobs or organisations, but never anything quite like this. Richard Leaman, as Ian, is seeking the ideal job, as CEO of a big American financial investment company that will bring him and his girlfriend, Tiffany, megabucks and work satisfaction. So when he sees such a job advertised it looks ready-made for him and he applies, putting together what he feels is a near-perfect application, including inventing a spell at the LSO which never happened.

First response is a telephone interview conducted by Suzanne, well voiced by Sarah Enticknap, although we never actually see her. We see and hear Ian gradually getting drawn into a web of intrigue as he lies or waffles his way through the questions he can't honestly answer.

Next comes the face-to-face interview and it is at this point that the whole exercise starts to unravel and Mr Marchbanks finds himself in a situation he could not have imagined in his wildest dreams. Is the interview genuine, a joke or an interrogation?

Leaman sustains the part of Marchbanks very well, gradually showing us a greed-fuelled character in a number of situations and acting well and naturally, even when reduced to cutting up his suit, shirt and tie and spending a quarter of the play in just his underpants. Paul Strickland handled the part of Martin well, although he could have been a bit more menacing, especially in the build up to the tension filled climax.

Melissa Hughes played Tiffany sympathetically and there were small parts for Ian Martin, offstage, and Ruth Wheeler as the receptionist.

Although with more twists than a country lane and more stings than you would find in a serpent's tail, the play was the real star, written and directed by Nick Card, a local playwright. It was certainly original, even though it stretched credulity at times but that, surely, is the point of good, successful drama?


Debut for Newbury Dramatic Society

Theatre at the Fringe

Newbury Dramatic Society: The Interview, at theSpace @ Surgeons Hall, Edinburgh, from Monday, August 7, to Saturday, August 12

Newbury Dramatic Society made their debut performance at the Edinburgh Fringe with The Interview that was first performed at ACE Space in April. It must have been a tremendous undertaking to take this production to the largest arts festival in the world.

It is a dark, tense and thrilling drama, written and directed by local playwright Nick Card.

Interviews can be daunting occasions and when Ian Marchbanks finds his ideal dream job on line he is determined to get it by any means… but all is not as it seems.

But how can Marchbanks convince the American Investment Bank that he is the right man for the job of CEO when he only has a 2:2 degree? He decides to lie and is encouraged by his girlfriend to complete the .application form and send it off.

He is successful in getting an initial telephone interview from Suzanne Masters, but it's not going well after she claims to have been in the same tutor group as he was at the London School of Economics, so he has to think quickly to explain why they never met.

To his surprise, he is offered a face- to-face interview in the country, rather than in London. However, Mike, the interviewer, is not quite what the ambitious and deceitful conman Marchbanks expected and things take a sinister and dramatic turn.

As this dark story unfolds, Marchbanks is totally humiliated as his early bullying of a pupil at school are revealed and revenge, justice or execution are sought.

There are fine performances from the cast, who create this surreal situation with total commitment and conviction.

The twist and turns at the end are a complete surprise, in what is an intriguing play where the bully eventually gets his comeuppance.