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‘A Fly in the Ointment’

‘A Fly in the Ointment’ is an intriguing but amusing play, with a rather insubstantial plot, however it provided a good vehicle for first time Director Peter Davies.

As is often the case, the material was quite light and fluffy, but gave the cast areas to explore and give plenty of rein and expression to.  There were good performances from all concerned, and a very good set helped take the production way above the content of the play.

I always like the Redbourn sets – they are perhaps a little predictable, but they work well, and are always very well-dressed.  Well done on the window that only opened for the ladies!! – Nicely managed. The only comment I have on the set for this play, was that I thought the picture of the poppies was a bit too modern for the rest of the set.

Costumes were good and looked comfortable, whilst being bright and colourful.

I liked the choice of music – it was quirky and diverse, but suited the mood of the piece, and as always with Redbourn, projection from the cast was excellent – so we heard every word without the benefit of microphones.

I felt that perhaps there was not enough use of the furniture in the room – there were a number of times when the cast on stage were standing at the front of the stage in a line, when they could perhaps have been sitting down, or using the furniture to create good grouping and dimensions.

There were two new performers to Redbourn, both of whom gave a good account of themselves.  The first was Anne Wilkes as Donna – if I hadn’t known it was her first production with Redbourn Players I would have said she was relatively experienced, as she seemed relaxed in the role, and managed the overt sexiness of the character well, in the main I thought Anne did a really good job, and enjoyed her portrayal.

The second newcomer, but one of undoubted experience for all his lack of age! – was Will Brown as Albert the pizza delivery boy.  Will developed the part well, with excellent expression and maintenance of the character throughout.  He was really devious and I enjoyed his performance very much.  Albert was a devil-may-care character which was a real contrast to the more mature and intense characters.

Hilary Violentano, who played Brenda Hackett the local policewoman, showed real comic understanding with a wealth of double entendres and food lust, a very funny portrayal that I liked, a nice part that Hilary did extremely well.

Andy Turner brought his own brand of performance to the naughty Minister of the Environment, Ron Corley – flitting between his girlfriend and his wife.  Andy always gives a part great consideration and understanding, and I felt quite sorry for him at times, being the object of passion for two forceful but very different ladies.

Maureen Wallis created a good character as Ron’s wife, Louise.  She went through the obvious realisation that her husband was playing away, but also found that perhaps she could redress the balance with the lovelorn doctor.  There were some good nuances to her portrayal, which I enjoyed.

David Howell was the lovelorn doctor, George Billing, lusting after his patient, which created some very amusing interludes, and it was nice to see David in a lighter more comic part, which he accomplished very well.

I loved the flowers dying at the end from an overdose of coffee – a good end to an entertaining play.  Not perhaps in the first flight of farces from the author’s point of view, but a very creditable production all round.

Redbourn Players

A Fly in the Ointment” review date: 22nd May 2015

Redbourn Village Hall

Director:  Peter Davies


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