Its natural when you hear the term “Round and Round the Garden” to assume that you will be attending a play about teddy bears and tickling. In this particular production however, the tickling was from pure amusement, and the teddy bear was an unseen cat! The play is based in the garden of Annie, and her demanding mother. In desperate need of a break, Annie organises to go away with Norman, a rather arrogant lothario, who just so happens to be her sister’s husband. After a stern talking to from her brother’s wife, Annie decides to stay at home, where Norman is free to cause havoc. It’s an entertaining storyline, although a bit of a bizarre one!
Prior to the show starting ASDS showed their respects to the late Queen Elizabeth, a fitting start for a country currently in mourning. It was a nice touch, and it was clear the audience appreciated it. I also think it’s important to point out the lovely, creative work that was done to showcase the pictures of the cast and crew at front of house. Someone has clearly lovingly created them, and they look great. I especially like the cast with pictures of their cats, it was a really nice touch.
When the curtain opened, I was immediately really impressed with the props and scenery onstage. It’s undoubtably one of the prettiest scenes I’ve seen in my years reviewing, and the audience had plenty of time to appreciate it because it was the only scenery used throughout the show. This made quite a pleasant change as it meant that there were no lengthy scene changes.
The show consisted of 6 characters in total. Annie, Norman, Reg, Sarah, Tom and Ruth. Maria Hood played the part of Annie well, showing a clear indecisiveness balanced with embarrassment in her affair with Norman. Chris Meineck portrayed the chaotic and misogynistic nature of Norman so well that, whilst amusing, he was very unlikeable.
Phil Vivian and Victoria Liechti made a good pairing as Reg & Sarah. Poor reg, as the hen-pecked husband, was very likeable and the audience warmed well to him. In contrast, Sarah was rather bossy and a bit of a busy body. They bounced off of each other well.
Jon Cockeram played the awkward, and rather clueless role of Tom very well and Louise Richards was a good Ruth.
The show had some very entertaining moments that had the audience chuckling, so well done to the cast for delivering some very funny lines well.
Further performances of Round and Round the Garden can be seen at Corpus Christi on the 17th September with showings at both 2:30 and 7:30pm.