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Redbourn Players        “Double Trouble”

Director:  June Farmer       Written by:  Geoff Farmer

Redbourn Village Hall          18th May 2012

Despite some traumatic happenings on the way – one person injured in a car accident, who had to be replaced, and another who tore his Achilles tendon and appeared on crutches – this was a very good evening’s entertainment.

Geoff Farmer had written a version of Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors, using some of the original words, and a lot of humour, with a big cast who obviously enjoyed what they were doing, and succeeded in keeping the audience’s interest.

The set was very well thought out – giving enough change to create a new scene, without having to make extensive changes.  I liked the use of different doors to signify the different settings. The set was nicely used by the cast, they moved around it well.

Costumes were very good – they were colourful and looked well made, clean and crisp.  I don’t think there was anyone who struck a sour note.  I also liked the stage crew being dressed in costume, a good touch.

The opening gave us a nice setting of the scene – a busy market square with lots going on, with music that was very suitable for the period.  I also liked the strolling minstrel (Emma Farmer) who later in the play sang to guitar accompaniment, making a very charming interlude.

It was a strong cast – Martin Howe as the Duke, delivered his lines with authority, and the lovely Peter Davies as Egeon, going to his death unless he can find the money to pay for trading in the city, and looking for his missing twin son and wife as well, always gives us a portrayal that is true to the part and full of depth and contrasts.

Needless to say, along the way we found Egeon’s twin sons and their servants, another two twin boys, and the ensuing mistaken identities, brought loads of fun and humour and was very nicely managed.  Of course eventually they were all reunited with their father and also their mother, who was hiding in the Priory!

David Howell played Antipholus of Syracuse (Paolo) who was the twin who had to be on crutches, but in a nice twist Clive Crowther as Antipholus of Ephesus (Marco) also adopted crutches, so that the mistaken identities really were in order.  

David was the stronger of the two twins, and used his acting skills to good effect – with some telling facial expressions when puzzled by the goings on.  Clive was a good foil, and again showed good facial expression.  A good pairing, enough alike to be believable, and mostly showing similarity in their actions.

The twin servants were the real stars of the show – played by Lucy Goodchild and Benita Gilliam – they had obviously worked really hard to get their whole persona, actions and facial expressions as close to each other as possible, and it was excellent.  I loved too, the moment when Lucy’s character was talking about the cook, it was extremely funny and very well done.

Victoria Brown was a very up front courtesan, Constanza, who tried to enthral the menfolk, a very strong and colourful characterisation.

Pauline Mead as Adriana, Marco’s wife, was strong and clear in her delivery, a lovely portrayal, that contrasted well with the softer Marco, and also Maureen Wallis as her sister Luciano.

There were a couple of younger cast members, Nancy Goodchild and Katherine Ellis, who acted very well, and I have no doubt the Players are hoping they will stay with them for a few years!

The other cast members all fulfilled their character expectations, and helped to make this an interesting and amusing production.  

So well done to everyone concerned, I went home feeling I’d seen a very interesting and amusing production.

Redbourn Players

Double Trouble” review date: 18TH May 2012

Redbourn Village Hall

Director:  June Farmer

Written by: Geoff Farmer


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