Monday, 6 October 2008

Local playtime

“Two plays and a song”
Old Buckenham Players
Old Buckenham Village Hall, Friday 26 and Saturday 27 September

It must be difficult for local amateur dramatic groups to think up something just a bit different for their productions. Old Buckenham Players livened up their two one-act plays by having live music from a local group during the interval and providing “nibbles” that turned out to be much more than crisps and peanuts.
The opening play, Green Favours, was a bitter-sweet story set in an allotment shed. The duet of Tom and Valerie (Richard Crawley and Jeanette Cruickshank) both had their own secret feelings about each other and romance so nearly blossomed amongst the garden forks and damp gardening clothes. Both actors coped well with the understated dialogue and you felt really sorry for both characters when the story didn’t end as both of them probably hoped.
After this relatively short play (under half an hour) the audience enjoyed some pleasant and tasty refreshments while being entertained by a local trio of young people who perform as Smallprint. Their confidence and ability went down well with those present as did the food.

Out for the Count was the second play – much more in the style of a short pantomime. It had plenty of awful puns and plays on words while some of the characters were really out of this world. Set in a lunatic asylum (where else?), it provided the opportunity for all the cast to overact and get away with it.
The Count Nolyard* (ably portrayed by Al Frank) comes visiting from Transylvania ready to seduce the two young ladies in the house but his evil ways were fraught with difficulties. An unlikely professor Hertz Van Hyer (Laurence Barnett) provides everyone with large crosses to protect themselves while the housekeeper Bridget (an ideal part for Joan Beales) just tells the Count what he can do with his evil schemes.
Everyone in the cast of nine obviously enjoyed doing this play and that enjoyment spilled over into the audience.
As usual the sets were excellent with much effort put in for just two evening performances. Now we have to wait until January next year to see what the Players will get up to in their pantomime ‘Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves’.

* This is Draylon spelt backwards which gave the opportunity for comments about it being a “fabric-ation” and the name “wouldn’t wash”.

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