There’s something both exciting and charming about heading out to see a play by a group who you have never seen before, and in a venue that you have never been to before. Whilst not directly involved with the performance, we all know that a great show takes teamwork and to that end I must thank everyone in the Front of House team for their welcoming, warm manner. It was a great start to what was a very enjoyable evening.
The script itself was written by Ray Hopkins, and what a script it was. This was a fabulous choice for the Society as it was perfectly aligned to the ages of the performers involved. The story was set in Retirement Flats and we follow the stories of an eclectic mix of residents and staff throughout. All appears to be well until, following the arrival of a new member of staff, residents’ personal items start to go missing. With plot twists and a little bit of romance, this is a fabulous, feel good story.
It’s rare to see a script where every individual seems to have an equal opportunity to shine throughout a performance. Each of the characters had a considerable amount of script time, and as a result of this it was extremely difficult to pick out stand out performances as every member of the cast played their parts very differently and very well.
Kudos has to go to Tom Martin who played the grumpy, egotistical, rude but also extremely funny Frank. He held his own throughout and was fortunate enough to have some brilliant lines to deliver which had the audience in stitches. Alongside him was his browbeaten, sweet and affable wife Rose, played by Joan Harrison, who had come to accept Frank for who he was despite his bullying manner. She was delightfully sweet and really made the audience feel for her situation.
Helen, played by Shelagh Rundle, delivered a snooty performance with great enthusiasm. She made her distaste for Frank clear throughout and the two of them had some brilliant, banterous rapport which was incredibly funny.
Susan, played by Anne Tillin, was also brilliant. Initially she comes across as a rather glamorous lady but the further into the play you get, she also shows us a rather saucy, naughty side which was hilarious to watch.
Finally, I have to mention Katy, played by Caroline Burr. What a great performance and what a lovely, brave and delightful character to play. She did the role great justice and made Katy an extremely lovable character.
As I said above, it was very difficult to pick out stand out performances and everyone on the stage last night should be absolutely delighted with the quality that they produced. It was a fantastic performance despite some first night jitters which are to be expected. My only feedback would be to pick up the pace a little bit in the final scene. For some reason it was a little on the slow side which didn’t align with the rest of the show which was very pacey.
There are two more performances on the 12th and 13th of April, and if you are at a loose end, I would highly recommend popping along to the West Moors Memorial Hall to see it. You won’t be disappointed. Also, if you are interested in treading the boards yourself, West Moors Drama Society are currently looking for new members – why not give it a try?