The mark of a great evening of theatre is when you are entertained to the extent that real life seems far away. I am pleased to say that Ferndown Drama were able to deliver that feeling, along with a few laughs and surprises along the way.
If I Were You, written by Alan Ayckbourn, is the story of a husband and wife whose relationship has grown apart over time. This all changes when they are given the unique opportunity, whether they wanted it or not, to understand each other in a lot more depth than they ever thought possible!
The evening started well with a very clever and detailed set which depicted an ordinary family home. Forgive my enthusiasm but I was very taken with the kitchen, and more specifically the working cupboards which added a really nice touch. The set had obviously taken some time. This was coupled with some very clever lighting, including the impressive flickering of a TV and some more ‘magical’ elements (I don’t want to say too much!).
Alan Ball in the role of Mal Rodale absolutely stole the show. He gave an entirely believable performance throughout the entirety of the performance. From his deeply masculine initial character in the beginning to a slightly changed perspective later on in the performance he had the right mannerisms, characterization and was really very funny.
He was paired with Nikki Wilson in the role of Jill Rodale. In comparison to the rather large character of Mal, it must have been quite a challenge to keep the focus in some cases but she does this well. However, I would suggest not holding back on the character in the second half and making the mannerisms and character even bigger.
Callum Hearne in the role of the very sweet, gentle Sam Rodale did a great job. The role had a lot of short and quick lines, which means that you don’t really get a chance to appreciate Callum’s character. However, there is a brilliant scene towards the end where you see more of Sam, and the audience got to see Callum’s acting ability.
Mike Tong in the role of Dean Snaith was instantly dislikeable but also had some amusing moments, which he delivered to the audience very well, and he was partnered well with Ruth Ball as his wife Chrissie Snaith.
If I were you, I would take the chance to see this great play this weekend. There has been a huge amount of hard work put into it, and it deserves to be seen. Check out the Barrington Theatre for tickets!