Review by National Operatic & Dramatic Association (NODA)
21st Oct 2021
Wombwell Thespians ADS
The Playhouse – Wombwell
By Amanda Whittington
Directed By Jeff Tiler
After two years since your last production it must have been great to get back onto the stage. It was equally great to visit your beautiful theatre and I very much enjoyed your production of “Ladies Day”
A comedy about four fish-filleting ladies, Pearl, Shelley, Jan and Linda, where life is one long slog. Their daily conversations consist of what they had for tea, what they watched on TV and with lots of friendly banter.
Pearl, who is finishing work, and not retiring, as she keeps on reminding her friends, is going to treat them to Ladies Day at Ascot (this year it takes place in York). Ditching their working gear of hairnets, overalls and wellingtons, they dressed up to the nines for a day at the races. Their fortune turns for the best when Linda finds four enclosure tickets allowing them to mix with the hoi polloi. They gamble their money on an accumulator bet that keeps on winning, with only one more win before a possible jackpot.
As the story advances, we discover a lot more about each of the ladies and their secrets and hopes for a better life.
These four lovely ladies gave us very different and challenging characters with varying emotions, taking us on a journey through their lives. All of which were performed wonderfully.
Pearl, played by Fiona Goulty, is a very level-headed woman with a secret lover of seven years, Barry. But he suddenly disappears out of her life and she cannot forget him, and hopes that she will find him at the races. . Fiona gave a strong and lovely range of emotions, especially the scene at the end of the play. Lovely performance.
Shelly, played by Karen MacQuarrie is unable to keep control of her money, owes money she knows she can never pay off and would love to be a millionaire’s wife. Karen delivered all the characteristics required, loud, brassy, full of confidence, but underneath she is going through a tough time.
Andrea Claire played the character of Jan “What did y’have for our tea last night?”. Jan’s life revolves around her daughter, Clare, and not much else. While at the races Jan drinks too much champagne. Acting drunk can go over the top, but Andrea’s timing was just right. However, he life is about to change when she lets it known her feelings for Joe, the kind boss at the fish factory.
Linda, played by Hannah Studd, is a naïve and vulnerable young lady whose mother takes advantage of her as and when she wants to. Linda finds comfort in the music of Tony Christie. Hannah played this character with the necessary awkwardness and blossomed after meeting jockey Patrick. Linda’s confidence in life grows stronger, again another lovely performance
Three gentleman doubled up on roles changing characters, accents and outfits all done effortlessly.
Andy Harris played Joe, the kind boss at the fish factory who was in love with Jan but never let her know until later on. Andy’s other character was that of Jim the TV presenter, trying to take advantage of Shelley.
Lewis Conway took on the two different roles with different accents and characterisations as Patrick the jockey who turned around the live of Linda, and Kevin the drunk who had lost everything on gambling. Robert Wilson’s two characters were also well performed: Fred the ticket tout, and Barry, Pearl’s true love. Barry came and found Pearl, and the scene between them came across with tenderness and sincerity. It was a most lovely moment as we see them in their last dance.
The production was well directed by Jeff Tiler, with the cast making good performances that worked very well and made their characters believable. Congratulations to everyone involved in making this a good production.
Thank you for the kind invitation and a most enjoyable evening.
Drama Rep Region 14 NODA North East