Play­ers tri­umph in am­bi­tious pro­duc­tion

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - SOUNDS GOOD -

Char­ing Guild of Play­ers You Should See Us Now THE sta­tis­tics of the Play­ers’ latest pro­duc­tion are im­pres­sive. Twenty scenes in four lo­ca­tions (with­out a change of scenery!), more than two hours of in­tense di­a­logue and a plot which de­mands high lev­els of imag­i­na­tion from those watch­ing. A care­fully-crafted set de­signed by Bert Ban­ham and Ann Bland­ford took us from the draw­ing room to the gar­den, up to the bed­room and down to the lounge with hardly a prop be­ing moved. The char­ac­ters thread their way through a hum­drum do­mes­tic rou­tine, each scarred with emo­tional bag­gage from their for­ma­tive years. The ac­tion hov­ers around an im­pend­ing chil­dren’s party. The cast of six ob­vi­ously rel­ish the scenes where they por­tray their char­ac­ters as chil­dren. Michelle O’Hara as the bul­ly­ing wife – but painfully shy child – was mag­nif­i­cent. She never fluffed a line and her per­for­mance oozed en­ergy and re­al­ism. Gra­ham Spit­tle’s self­pro­claimed “bum­bling in­con­se­quen­tial nitwit” of a hus­band de­manded much from the vet­eran of four Holling­bourne pan­tos. He dithered as an adult, cloyed pa­thet­i­cally as a child, and emerged tri­umphant and wor­thy of for­give­ness for sev­eral calls on the ser­vices of the prompter. Mark Woods did his home­work on his moun­tain of di­a­logue and hardly fal­tered as Ernest’s best friend. Viv Bar­rett and Cherie Ham­letSmith were both equal to their con­trast­ing adult and child char­ac­ters. And Carolyn Ban­ham’s mas­ter­ful per­for­mance as lost love Katy of­fered the au­di­ence a peep at the tal­ent that also en­abled her to di­rect this am­bi­tious pro­duc­tion.

Brian Lewis

Viv Bar­rett, Mark Woods, Michelle O’Hara, Cherie Ham­letSmith and Gra­ham Spit­tle in You Should See Us Now

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