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Boundary Players

Boundary Players

The Boundary Players web site is at www.boundaryplayers.co.uk. Facebook.

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Where

The William Penney Theatre, inside AWE at Aldermaston. Click here for a map. The entrance to the theatre can be found on the A340 Basingstoke to Newbury road, just before the Heath End Roundabout at Tadley. There is ample free car parking next to the theatre.

Box office

07756 141734, or via the web site.

Reviews of Ladies Day

27th to 30thNovember 2019

Review from the Newbury Weekly News.

Fish out of water

Boundary Players: Ladies Day, at the William Penney Theatre, Tadley, from Wednesday, November 27 to Saturday, November 30

When Ascot Racecourse was closed for redevelopment in 2005, four racecourses wore invited to tender for Royal Ascot. For geographical – and possibly other reasons – you might suppose that Newbury would be the ideal choice, but the winning bid was York. Maybe they were cheaper. Amanda Whittington's play covers the activities of four women fish-packers from Hull who decide to put on posh frocks and hats for a day at the races.

We first encounter them packing fish, in their white coats and head caps, up in their hometown of Hull. All had their problems.

Rachel Silk gave a good performance as Linda, a woman living alone except for the frequent visits of her mother, who constantly bullied her. Maryann Mendum gave a strong account of Shelley, a lithe, brash woman, looking after her friends. Sam Walker conveyed the pain of Jan effectively, longing for attention from Joe, the foreman at work and she portrayed a very inebriated Jan in one memorable scene. Pat Archer convinced as an older woman in a boring home situation who has been clandestinely carrying on an affair with a lover in a station hotel room for some time.

None of these women are at home at Ascot in York, with one of them imitating the bookies' gestures 'right hand, left cheek' sign as meaning right hand on her left buttock. Another, asked for a tip, says 'don't mix your drinks', it's a big day out though and they are determined to enjoy it.

This production was full of impressive acting from the entire cast. None more so than Andrew Smith, who successfully portrayed three different male characters over the course of the two arts. As Harry at the end, he was particularly good.

There were also good cameo performances by Richard Mier and Gavin Crow as a chatty but world-weary jockey.

Directed in a continuous flow, at about the right pace by Mary Robinson, the producer was Paul Robinson. This was a highly successful, impressively-acted production.

And all the Yorkshire accents came across realistically.

DEREK ANSELL

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