Ac­tors thrived on at­mos­phere


AR­RIV­ING at the Lit­tle Theatre for MADS’ pro­duc­tion of Easy Virtue I no­ticed that the manda­tory chat­ter, buzz and rustling of sweet wrap­pers which is ex­pected be­fore cur­tain up was some­how height­ened, and as I took my seat and looked stage­wards, I un­der­stood why.

Such a mag­nif­i­cently well-dressed set would not have been out of place on Lon­don’s West End – we were well and truly trans­ported to the leisurely re­splen­dence of a 1920’s up­per mid­dle class draw­ing room.

Noel Cow­ard him­self wouldn’t have looked out of place lan­guish­ing on that very sofa. The scene was well and truly set for a splen­did evening.

Cow­ard’s plays tend to be fast-paced crowd pleasers, and when well cast and well de­liv­ered, are a sure-fire suc­cess, and MADS un­doubt­edly suc­ceeded.

As well as the afore­men­tioned set, the jaunty mu­sic and im­mac­u­late cos­tumes cre­ated a bril­liant at­mos­phere from the start, and it was clear that the ac­tors thrived off this.

With a few ex­cep­tions, they de­liv­ered their di­a­logue with the pace and panache re­quired for Cow­ard’s bit­ing style.

There were a few ac­tors who had a no­table knack for the style – in­clud­ing Cather­ine Rim­mer and Cameron Chan­dler, whose witty repar­tee and prob­ing ban­ter in their scenes as Sarah and Charles were def­i­nite high­lights.

Gemma Wil­son as the enig­matic Larita was also ex­tremely well-cast, and man­aged to keep the au­di­ence firmly on­side through­out her con­tro­ver­sial sto­ry­line, which was no mean feat.

In pro­duc­tions such as this, there is of­ten a vi­tal cog in the wheel which goes un­praised – namely, the di­rec­tor.

Kayleigh Smith han­dled Cow­ard’s tricksy play fan­tas­ti­cally, mak­ing use of her gen­er­ous set very well; es­pe­cially dur­ing the party scene, which saw the ensem­ble me­an­der­ing in and out through the vari- ous en­trances to great ef­fect. The play’s tran­si­tions were also dealt with in­no­va­tively, us­ing mod­ern mu­sic both to un­der­pin scene changes and also as an in­ter­est­ing back­drop to the party.

All in all, a fab­u­lous evening – the ac­tors de­liv­ered, the pro­duc­tion value was un­ri­valed and the au­di­ence came away grin­ning. I’d call that a jolly suc­cess, wouldn’t you? Claire Bowen

Mac­cles­field Am­a­teur Dra­matic So­ci­ety at MADS Lit­tle Theatre

●● MADS per­formed Noel Cow­ard’s Easy Virtue at the Lit­tle Theatre

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