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Jim Cartwright is a very clever writer, taking mundane situations and making them both interesting and amusing. I liked the play and the way the characters were so different, even though they were all played by the same two people.
It took me a few minutes to get myself attuned to the extremely minimalist set and the fact there were no props, but the way the two actors mimed what they were was so close to reality that I forgot, and was able to visualise the actual bottles, glasses etc with no problem.
I liked the way the Director, Jonathan Field, had created the movement of the different couples and characters, there seemed to be a flow that kept all the threads together.
Julie Field and Robert Naylor-
The Landlord and Landlady were so typical of a couple living and working together, a real love/hate relationship, which resolved itself very nicely at the end, after the revelation of their child being killed in an accident – very poignant but portrayed so convincingly. I loved the Landlady’s reaction to the punters, a bit of flirting, a big smile, but becoming very sarcastic and downcast when speaking to her husband, and the Landlord not being able to resist putting her down at the slightest provocation.
The Old Woman was sympathetically represented by Julie, giving us an insight into someone who was typical of a traditional relationship, caring for her man, and managing to get out for a drink occasionally to keep herself sane. Loved her reference to his chicken arms, created a mind picture for me.
I loved Robert’s interpretation of Moth, and his interaction with the audience, a real smooth ladies man, with Julie’s rather buttoned up Maudie. An excellent portrayal from them both.
Then Robert changed his persona completely, and became the Old Man, bereft after the death of his wife, thinking of the old days. So calm and quiet after Moth! It seemed that even the shape of his face changed, which I found very interesting.
I loved the Landlord and the stag party section, great fun, showing how the Landlord also reacted differently to the public, rather than the way he was towards his wife.
Mr & Mrs Iger hit the spot, with Robert showing the rather cowardly man trying to get a drink, and his dominating wife going on at him until he loses his temper, when she sees what she is doing to him – a telling section.
Roy and Lesley, which was probably the most affecting relationship, showed Roy’s manipulative and controlling nature, whilst Lesley was checking her jumper all the time, eyes downcast as the object of his abuse. Quite uncomfortable to watch.
Fred and Alice were a good combination, having a satisfactory relationship, based on food, television, mutual insults and an obsession with Elvis. Loved the Elvis reference – one small technical note here, the TV stopped before she turned it off!
I loved Robert’s Boy – so funny and appealing, and I liked the way the Landlady was so kindly towards him.
The costumes were simple but depicted the different characters really well.
A surprising play, that was well-
Wheathampstead Dramatic Society
Review date: 18th May 2017
Memorial Hall, Wheathampstead
Director: Jonathon Field