site search by freefind advanced

 Connecting professional and amateur theatre in Newbury, West Berkshire and beyond

Boundary Players

Boundary Players

The Boundary Players web site is at Facebook.

Last production


The William Penney Theatre, Tadley RG7 4PR, 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.

Review of We’ll Bring the House Down

24th to 27th April 2024

Review from the Newbury Weekly News.

Bringing the house down

New writing well-staged in a political setting by Boundary Players

The house in question being the House of Commons, Westminster…

The play was written by Steve Schollar and Mike Brooks who are both involved in amateur drama and specifically Boundary Players. The programme contained a warning informing us that this is not a play about politics, but it is in a political setting where people say political things. Fair enough.

It is about one man’s journey as the programme informs us, one Royce Owen MP. Royce is played as a rather tense, wound-up Labour MP by Neil Pagden, wondering if he can come to terms with the newly-elected leader Jeremy Corbyn. We see him nervously removing an old portrait from the wall in his office and replacing it with a picture of Corbyn. His friend Dave, a lively and exuberant character as depicted by Andrew Smith, has no such problems; he’s been involved in the miners’ strike and will go along with the new left-wing regime happily enough. Smith played him with a northern accent and a bright sense of humour, always ready with a joke. A cast of 12 worked hard to present Owen’s dilemma with good performances from David White and Gavin Crow as a sort of double act of two political characters, questioning Royce’s ability and convictions. Stephen McKinnon was lively as a smooth Conservative MP and the two women in the play, Emily Browne and Lynn Stacey, had brief scenes as a Sun newspaper reporter and a chief whip respectively. Both gave Royce a bad time until his friend put Ms Del La Primo in her place as she tried, unsuccessfully, to blackmail him. Ms Stacey as Roberta McKee was more successful at making the dithering MP uncomfortable.

So, this was a play about the Royce character, unsure about his commitment and future conviction, working through his doubts and problems and coming out much more confident in his own beliefs and conviction towards the end. Set in a room in Parliament, it was not without humour. Like the invitation to visit an organisation called Nudists For Labour. “I will come only if I have nothing on,” Dave responds. Even so it was hard to see how this was not a play about politics: a play about MPs in a room in Parliament discussing their futures and their feelings about their new leader? However, the play made some interesting points about where we are today, not least a plea for proportional representation in future.

And the acting was good all round, despite the occasional use of continuity. There were also a few occasions where two actors on stage were walking back and forward while delivering their lines. A bit distracting. It was though, a new original play, well staged and performed with co-author Steve Schollar directing and taking two small parts, one as a radio announcer.

I did wonder though how effective and amusing it might have been set in the present rather than 2015.


Previous productions