Nightmare is a suspense play by Norman Robbins and was first produced at the Oast Theatre, Tonbridge in 1987. Robbins wrote his first stage show over sixty years ago while working for the Yorkshire Evening Post and his plays are very popular with Amateur Theatres.
The action takes place in a remote country house with a village a mile or so away. The main scene is set in a cosy home with beautiful moorland views. The owner is Marion Bishop, an elderly writer of romantic novels, convincingly portrayed by Val Smith. Her kind friend, Katherine Willis, cares for her whilst also coping with her brother, Michael, a young man with special needs. Katherine is played by Kelly-Anne Singleton who brings warmth and emotional depth to this part. Doris Meacham, the local grocer and gossip is perfectly characterized by Janine Williams with Dr. Andrew Thorne (Chris Huggill) popping in and out whilst trying to organize the action. The part of Michael is obviously difficult to portray but Chris Kemp gives a believable performance as an innocent.
Miss Bishop’s nephew, Raymond, is a quietly intimidating individual with a seemingly underlying grudge and a propensity to cause trouble. Martyn Brown gave a well-defined performance of this character. A nurse, Laura Vinnecombe, played by Fiona Richards, arrives to hold the fort whilst Katherine has a break but who is she?
This play is smoothly executed by an accomplished cast and stellar backstage support. The sound is particularly authentic and the smooth direction, a first of many I am sure, for Alyssa Thompson. Well done to all at Broadstone Players.
It would be hard to find a play with so many ingenious twists and turns. I was aware that I needed to keep my wits about me despite a very decent red wine that was on offer. Deceit, suspicion, blackmail and incrimination are subtly woven into this production. Expect surprises, bafflement and constantly changing your mind to the very end. If you like a puzzle, this production is definitely worth a trip to the War Memorial Hall in Broadstone, but you need to be quick. Showing tonight, tomorrow and Saturday from 7.30pm.