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Silchester Players - Three One-Act Plays

22nd to 23rd September 2017

Review from the Newbury Weekly News.

All good fun on Silchester triple bill

Silchester Players: Mourning, Nun and Night, at Silchester Village Hall, on Friday, September 22, and Saturday, September 23

Silchester Players' three one-act plays, ingeniously billed as Mourning, Nun and Night, provided a highly-entertaining programme, with good standards of acting and high production values. The first, Here Endeth the First Lesson, was an amusing glimpse at a parish council meeting where one of the committee, Mr Cooper (Tony Oliver in good form), was a real thorn in everyone's side, with his offbeat humour and carping outbursts. Choosing music for Christmas, the members played a trick on him to teach him a lesson, vetoing every choice on the grounds of spurious political correctness and health and safety – for instance, the other reindeers 'bullying' Rudolf by calling him names and not letting him join in their reindeer games.

This was a nice ensemble piece, with good humorous moments.

The second play, Properly Processed, was certainly a class act, with three tight performances from the actors. The author had a very jaundiced view on modern bureaucracy and the action took place in the waiting room for the Afterlife.

Confused, recently-deceased Carol Benson-Brown (an excellent Sarah Oliver) arrived to be greeted by sepulchral Simkins (Rob Whitehead). It was all about taking a number and filling in some incomprehensible forms in order to be 'processed'. Some terrific exchanges ensued between Carol and Simkins’ boss. Smith (Brian Gillet), all very slickly delivered.

In the final play, None the Wiser, a group of nuns were revealed. But all was not as it seemed; they were, in fact, operating a successful shoplifting racket and when two more nuns turned up seeking accommodation, everything was thrown into disarray, with highly-amusing consequences; the two newcomers also proving to be crooks. With delightful characterisations from the several characters, this was again a very entertaining piece.

It was good to see some new faces. Director Keith Graham must be very happy with his choice of plays and the performances of the players.