WOMBWELL THESPIANS ADS
“BESIDE THE SEASIDE”
The Playhouse, Wombwell
Thursday 19th May 2022
Director/Producer: Jeff Tiler
Guests have come to the seaside for a lovely holiday and to be waited upon hand and foot. However, this is not what they get when they arrive at the “Seaview” boarding house. Having to comply with all the rules and regulations is not for the faint-hearted: all the do’s and don’ts, meals leaving much to be desired and not forgetting the bread and butter pudding served at every evening meal. This is definitely not a five-star hotel and it may only be a one-star. No-one dares to stand up to the controlling and tyrannical landlady, Mrs Austin. With people constantly coming and going and very little in the way of creature comforts the guests soon become disgruntled and chaos reigns.
Congratulations to Jeff on a well-directed and thought out production with a good set, lighting and sound effects and all the actors gave admirable performances. Amanda Marcroft’s portrayal of Mrs Austin was exactly right – she intimidated, yelled and screamed at everyone as and when she pleased. I don’t think I would like to stay at her boarding house but she did receive some home truths in the end.
Andrea Conway took on the role of the dizzy maid, Florrie, who instead of taking care of the guests tried to avoid Mrs Austin yelling at her every five minutes. Florrie would rather be reading her magazine than causing any misunderstandings with the guests. Andrea got Florrie and her ways well and truly off to a fine art.
Ethel Pearson (Fiona Goulty) and her husband, Wilf Pearson (Robert Wilson), are taking their usual annual holiday and hoping for a nice relaxing time. The mood varies from loving moments quickly followed by big arguments especially when it concerns their daughter, Sally, played by Hannah Studd. She gets involved with an undesirable character, Tony Brett (Andy Harris), the local “theatrical” trickster, and her parents try to prevent Sally from running off with him. With a vast amount of lines and emotions to deliver Fiona and Robert gave wonderful performances and worked very well together.
Sally’s soldier boyfriend should have spent the holiday with the family but he had to stay in the barracks. This doesn’t go down well with Sally. Tony Brett, missing no opportunity, charms his way into Sally’s broken heart while convincing her to enter the local beauty competitions all the while encouraging her to run away with him. However, she sees what he is really after and retreats back to her family and, of course, back to her solider boyfriend who is there waiting for her. A quality performance from Hannah.
Pat Marlow (Rachel Davison) and Tony Brett stay the whole season at the boarding house and work as professional entertainers at the theatre at the end of the pier. Tony charms everyone around him, especially the ladies, and particularly Sally Pearson, promising her stardom. Andy Harris gave a very good characterisation needed to make this portrayal work well. Rachel Davison, making her stage debut, very confidently played the role of Pat Marlow, the other half of the double-act with Tony Brett. By the end of the play, although Tony ran off with Sally, he was in fact still married to Pat.
Newly-weds Henry and Daphne Pepper realise that marriage is no honeymoon. There are misunderstandings and even talk of divorce although they have only been married for a few hours. Wilf Pearson tries to help out but only makes things worse. Explaining the theory of the birds and the bees only confuses not too bright Henry, but all was well in the end. Lewis Conway and Caitlin Lashmar were perfect in these roles and worked very well together giving very good performances.
The cast was completed by Matthew Lashmar as the policeman.
This was not an easy play to perform but the cast worked hard to make it all happen, although I think some of the scenes could have done with a little more pace and first-night nerves can get in the way of making it run smoothly. Congratulations and well done to Jeff and everyone involved with this production and we much enjoyed the evening. Thank you for the invite and the warm welcome from the society