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BETWEEN MOUTHFULS” & “LAST TANGO IN LITTLE GRIMLEY


The curtains opened to a bright modern set depicting a restaurant scene with bold art prints and good attention to detail.  


I could tell that it soon became apparent to the audience that within Mr and Mrs Pearce's relationship there was a lot to which they could relate.  The couple who have been together for many years and whose default behaviour is to bicker!  


Aspects of Martin and Polly's relationship also seemed to strike a chord with the audience.


Rodney Burt did a good job with the lighting.  Overall he managed the switch between action well.


I agree with David Howell's comment in the programme that this play is "more difficult to perform than it appears".  As actors, to have to perform half conversations and incomplete sentences, cutting off and coming in again at the correct times, requires a good amount of concentration and skill to make it appear natural.  All actors accomplished this very well.


Andy Turner's waiter was charming, obliging and I enjoyed his portrayal of the stereotype of an efficient waiter.  I felt he took time to get into his stride, but once he got warmed up he was excellent.  Hats off to him for his waiting prowess and silver service too - another aspect to have to get to grips with.  He handled it well.  


Pompous and self-important was how Mario Violentano played Mr Pearce!  He did not suffer fools gladly, in fact, he didn't appear to suffer anyone gladly!  Irritated probably by most things but most of all his long-suffering wife, he gave a good portrayal of the character.


Hilary Violentano as Mrs Pearce showed how the character may once have been patient and tolerant of her husband's behaviour; perhaps earlier in their marriage; but now she bit back and didn't take very kindly to his nonsense!  I liked the dynamic between the couple - good chemistry.  


Jordan Davies' debut performance with the Players was solid and confident.  He coped well with the part conversations and fading in and out of dialogue competently. I wanted more from his reaction when he found out his partner had been away with Mr Pearce but overall I enjoyed his performance.


Maureen Wallis's portrayal of Polly was good.  She came across as a bit whiny; craving attention from her husband which she didn't get, so she went elsewhere to get it!  


I really enjoyed "Between Mouthfuls" as a complete piece.  It was a good choice of play - Ayckbourn's writing really hasn't aged.  It was funny, capturing my attention and imagination, it left me wanting more, which I think is a real plus point for a play.


"Last Tango in Little Grimley".  When the curtains opened, anyone who's ever been involved in local theatre would have recognised the scene before them.  


As the play progressed it again highlighted age-old problems which have been encountered by many societies.  


The innuendo throughout the play was great and well-played and the colourful language of the characters at various times really enhanced the piece.


David Howell's portrayal of Bernard, the set builder who was lured into being onstage, rather than backstage was great.  He was likable, funny and natural.  I enjoyed his coarse sense of humour and banter with Margaret.


Joyce, played by Ann Mundye was really good value.  Very keen and clearly a stalwart of the society.  I could tell Ann really had fun playing this part.


Andy Turner's Gordon showed the right amount of authority over the other characters.  I also liked the way he was constantly challenged by the behaviour of his fellow characters and how he managed his frustration, trying to keep it in check but not managing very well most of the time!


Becky Vernon-Clinch as Margaret was very natural.  She portrayed the character who throws herself into every production with gusto competently.  Prim and proper to a certain extent but prepared to do what it takes to thrill the audience and ensure the success of a production, as was alluded to at the end of the play!


I loved this play.  It was a witty, funny, laugh-out loud, feel-good piece which was performed extremely well.  I felt able to relax and enjoy the play and as with the other play, I wanted more.


Credit to all the actors, both directors and other crew.  The plays were competently produced and directed, resulting in a thoroughly enjoyable evening.




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Redbourn Players

BETWEEN MOUTHFULS” & “LAST TANGO IN LITTLE GRIMLEY”  

review date: May 2017 Redbourn Village Hall

Directors:Pauline Mead (BM) David Howell (LTILG)

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