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Village Music & Drama

Cucumbers and quality

Posted on May 19 2013 at 1:13:27 0 comments

The cast

Ian G Cox reviews Alvechurch Dramatic Society’s production of The Importance of Being Earnest at Alvechurch Village Hall, directed by Leah Yendell and Martin Salter.

One hundred years after this Oscar Wilde classic was first performed, the play retains popularity and a fascination.

This village hall audience was provided with a well-paced production of the highest quality and all involved should feel rightly proud of a superb performance.
The opening lines were delivered by Lane (Chris Tomlin) in lugubrious and deadpan fashion, and as each cast member made their first appearance on stage the wit and brilliance of this magnificent script with all the one-liners and put-down comments were delivered with complete precision.

Algernon (Martin Salter, in a very well executed director and acting role) eating his way effortlessly through cucumber sandwiches and muffins, caught the style and manner of the character, as did Jack Worthing (Chris Davies) with sharp clarity and lovely facial expressions.

Lady Bracknell (Susan Resuggan) in magnificent wig, hats and a couple of stunning outfits, delivered a wonderful, comedic, formidable performance in clear and forthright fashion with all the required snobbery the part demands.

Gwendolen Fairfax (Jo Bestwick) gave a delightfully appealing, poised delivery with superbly clear diction brought into sharp focus during the sparring scene with Cecily (Leah Yendell, also balancing her joint director responsibility seamlessly), the innocent 18-year-old.

Miss Prism (Helen Tuite), Dr Chasuble (Adrian Perry) and Merriman (Steve Siddle) all gave excellent character performances, completing this quality line-up.

The style, props and furnishings in attractive and well-designed sets for all three acts provided authenticity which, together with excellent costumes and the right amount of elegance, provided the appropriate setting for this timeless play.

This was my first visit to a recently-joined NODA member group and after enjoying this quality production I look forward to having the opportunity to repeat the experience.

Ian G Cox is the Regional Representative for Worcestershire East, National Operatic and Dramatic Association – professional support for amateur theatre.


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