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The second in a trilogy from Philip King – I think this production benefited from
The set had been lovingly resurrected, and looked as good as ever, depicting the vicar’s house, showing it to be in need of a little tlc, and some money spent on it!! Props and set dressing was good, I particularly liked the way Penelope fell against the shelf and swept all the ornaments off, a good crash, no faking it – nicely done!
Some costume notes – Penelope’s red dress was lovely, but rather inappropriate for a drafty vicarage in December – but subsequent costumes were very suitable. Lionel’s dog collar need some refinement. I thought the other costumes were very in keeping with the individual characters.
Sabina Jackson’s reprise of Penelope Toop was very good – I enjoyed her portrayal last year, and thought Sabina improved on it this year. Again, good clear diction and projection, with plenty of expression, and real panic in her face when she thought their pools syndicate had been discovered.
Chris Fletcher played Lionel Toop, Penelope’s vicar husband. A believable interpretation, but he seemed inclined to rush his words, which made them a little indistinct at times. Just slow down Chris, and the character will shine through. I thought he coped really well with the cassock and tartan travel blanket attire, and got the humour out of the script.
Tammy Calvert reprised the lovely part of Ida, the maid. This time with more to do, which really gave Tammy the opportunity to explore Ida. I loved her portrayal, Tammy is a talented comedy actress, and this part really suited her. I loved her expressions, and particularly when the door was flung back onto her, so many chances that she capitalised on. Good projection and expression.
I liked Donna Fletcher’s Miss Skillon – again excellent projection, and loads of fun in her narrow minded view of life, lightened by her pursuit of Lionel, and disapproval of Penelope. A good contrast to the other ladies.
Willie Briggs materialised as a real person in this play, having just been a voice
last time, and was played nicely by Cameron Tabone. He got the rather hen-
Stephen Parry showed us a confused Rev Humphrey, not sure what he’d walked into, and then not knowing what had happened to his pools form – such fun.
Gravitas came in the form of Malcolm Calvert’s Bishop, again a reprise of the role – he looked extremely smart, and a little bewildered at the turn of events. A good contrast to the other men.
Overall a good production, with lots of laughs, I appreciate the work needed to get the action right so that it worked, and as far as I could see it did.
The Square Drama Circle
“POOLS PARADISE” Review 20th May 2017
The Square Methodist Church Hall, Dunstable
Director: Bridget Calvert