Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Martian Magic

Tessa Davies

I am a fan of the Farndale series of plays but had not seen this one before. It differs somewhat from the rest of the series and I was a little confused at first.

However the production was great fun to watch as the various characters struggled through the convoluted script.

Jill Snelling was the perfect Mrs Reece, with just the right level of caring bossiness. With such a small cast it is a pleasure to be able to mention them all by name. Victoria Grayling and Karen Reeves were the perfect foils to Jill’s Mrs Reece, whilst Kevin Watts played the hapless single male with a light and funny touch.

Lisa Chapman was a complete delight to watch as she degenerated from the country bumpkin housekeeper into the drugged character that is a central part of this play. There were also three ‘extra’ characters, who appeared very briefly, and are not named in the programme.

Rehearsals must have been great fun as Mike Jones has put a lot of extra touches into the play which, probably, came as a result of the cast working together. It was his directorial debut and he has to be rightly proud of the outcome.

Not having to install scenery made this an easy production to run and the pile up of odds and ends that were introduced at the beginning of the play, purportedly as the scenery, was fun to watch. I would have like to see more use made of these bits and pieces in the play, the use of the iron as a telephone was a nice touch and I am sure there could have been other items substituted for ‘missing’ props, for example, the binoculars.

Lighting is fairly straight forward in these plays but it worked well and was always on cue.

Overall we had a fun evening, thank you Thurrock Courts Players, I look forward to the next production.

You can see the play as part of the Thurrock Drama Festival on June 6th


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