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Compton Players - Perfect Wedding

25th to 28th April 2018

Review from the Newbury Weekly News.

Pre-nups shenanigans

Marital mayhem ensues in Compton Players' farce

Compton Players: Perfect Wedding, at Compton Village Hall, from Wednesday, April 25, to Saturday, April 28

It's not a good idea for a man to wake up on his wedding morning, in the Bridal Suite, with a naked young woman called Judy in the bed beside him. Worse still when he doesn't recognise or know her and asks her who she is.

This was the opening sequence of Robin Hawdon's play, with Phil Prior as the bridegroom, growing ever-more evasive and confused as the action progresses. Lauren Eeley, as Judy, played it straight while all around her were becoming fairly frantic. Peter Watt, as the Best Man Tom, had his share of becoming frantic, particularly when trying to persuade the chambermaid (a lively performance by Naomi Read) to pretend to be his girlfriend and get his friend off the hook when his fiancée, Helen Saxton, arrives.

However, he does not realise that Judy is locked in the bathroom and he has mistaken the chambermaid for her. And if you think that is complicated, it turns out that the girl in the bridegroom's bed was actually Tom's girlfriend. It is, of course, typical farce, with people swiftly arriving and departing through doors and dialogue moving along at the same pace. If the cast missed something of the brisk, crisp delivery of the lines, they made up for it with some very good acting, stage movement and positioning generally.

Helen Saxton, as Rachel the bride, spending much of the first act slowly applying a mudpack to her face and shouting at her bridegroom, even in difficult situations, was impressive.

As the second act gathered momentum, there were, of course, shocks and surprises all round, not least when the bridegroom's activities began to unravel and the bride's mother, played by Mary Warrington, asked her daughter: "Isn't there someone else you'd like to marry?" The main contestants, Phil Prior, Peter Watt, Lauren Eeley and Naomi Read interact together very well, with fine support from the other actors.

There was a very good set, designed by Eric Saxton, and Tracey Pearce's direction was smooth and fairly well paced overall. Another good touch was that all the seats in the hall had been covered in white material, so the audience got the illusion they were attending a wedding reception.

All this and Elvis Presley singing Fever before the start.