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A well-directed Alan Ayckbourn play, featuring a good set designed by Alan Goss, which was fairly intricate, but with fairly slick scene changes worked well for both cast and audience.

Lighting and sound from Fred Rayment was good throughout.

For me, the star of the piece was Andy Mills as the very Welsh Dafydd ap Llewellyn – his accent was maintained throughout, and he gave the part a very upbeat and pacey delivery, with great expression, which I really enjoyed.

Susan Young as his wife Hannah, also gave a convincing performance, in both her relationship with Dafydd and with Guy – a nice part, very well played.

Allan Martin was the newcomer Guy, who attracted the women, and was generally put upon by Dafydd, being moved around all the parts in the Beggar’s Opera.  I would have liked to have seen a bit more reaction to the continual changes, as it seemed he just accepted it all without changing pace.

Angela Goss created a super character as Enid, such attention to every detail – giving us comic intent all the time.  Barry Pain as her husband Ted, blended in well with his slightly vague persona.

Rona Cracknell and Alan Goss created a good relationship as the Huntley-Pike’s, and I particularly liked Rona’s scene in the garden with Guy!

Julie Foster played the rather abrasive and bitchy Bridget with a nice edge – a good foil to the other more refined characters.

Chris Young as both MD for the Beggar’s Opera, and the play itself, made us believe his rather eccentric persona.

I liked Anthony Bird’s young upstart Crispin, again an excellent foil to the other older male cast members.

Fiona Smout, Heather Rouse and Graham Read played the Stage Hands, and participated well, although they were mainly background parts.  I enjoyed the step ladder scene – it went well, and gave some added interest to the piece.

It was shame we didn’t have cast biographies in the programme, as although I knew the majority of actors, it would have been nice to have some guide as to others background and experience, as sometimes that gives  me an insight into where I should pitch my review.

Overall some good performances, but I was a little disappointed with the actual play – from my point of view not one of Ayckbourn’s best.

Dunstable Rep

“A Chorus of Disapproval”

review date: 8h July 2016

Little Theatre, Dunstable

Director:  Julie Foster  


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