Association of Community Theatre
Show Reviews - May 2017
by Eric Chappell
Altrincham Little Theatre
Director – Lisa Barker
This was a delightful end to this year’s season. The light-hearted comedy left me smiling at the end and reminiscing about some of the character portrayals. Portrayals mainly of family members, and caricatures of people on our television screens.
The curtain opened onto the shared bedroom of two elderly ladies, Emily and May, in a retirement home. We were to learn that these two ladies have been put together after the death of Bella, who previously shared the room with Emily. However, Emily is convinced that the death was no accident and proceeds to uncover the truth and she uses May as her sounding board, Other residents think that poor memory, or the signs of dementia, are clouding her thoughts.
Barbara Steel and Christine Parry worked well as the double act of Emily and May. Barbara made us believe that Emily was a cantankerous, forgetful and iron willed kleptomaniac. She had the air of an Ena Sharples about her, down to the wearing of a hairnet, which made me think of my own Grandma. The build-up and delivery of the comedy punch lines were excellent, and nothing was missed in the delivery. The facial features, expressions and body language all helped establish the character. Christine had the whiff of the Joan Sims character of Mrs Wembley about her. She enjoyed a small sherry, and was a great foil for Barbara’s character.
Charlie Welsh gave a good performance as the young carer in the retirement home, channelling her “inner chav” with confidence, and providing some of the red-herrings in the plot line.
The person in charge was Mrs Lang, Kathryn Fennell, who delivered dialogue beautifully, dripping with sarcasm at times, and so condescending, reminiscent of Joyce Temple-Savage in 'Benidorm'.
Ian Fensome gave a good performance as Emily’s put-upon and exasperated son, Alan.
The set design by Steve Smith and Alan Reidsma helped the play to move at a pace and certainly reminded me of rooms in my ancient aunt's houses, full of pictures on the walls, to give that homely feel.
The sound was clear, and the music provided added to the ambience of the piece.
This might be the summer end, but I look forward to seeing more in the autumn.