Drama Festival: “They Came From Mars” is out of this world!

THIS REVIEWER is not a laugh out loud type of guy and when “They Came From Mars” started with the beginning of “Shine on you Crazy Diamond” by Pink Floyd he feared the worst.

He need not have worried as he was treated to the best performance that he had witnessed in five years of watching the Thurrock Courts Players.

Now some might say:”Isn’t the Director a buddy of yours?” Indeed he is and he also knows that we have had many an artistic disagreement.

But for the two hours that this play was on stage, not a foot was out wrong. Sure the adjudicator pointed out a few things but we felt the pace was perfect, the acting fantastic and the delivery pitch perfect.

Some may say,that it is pretty hard to get this play wrong but on the contrary, it is such a good script that the only way is down. Lisa Chapman did a great job in understating the slowly going off her face Norah. It would have been so easy to “overact” but instead Lisa gently stole the show. Jill Snelling is such a consistent performer that we start to feart she feels overlooked but she was the glue that kept the whole show together.

Karen Reeves made us laugh out loud in the first act as she struggled with the martians helmet, green make up and her ray gun.

Special mention goes to Kevin Watts who showed great comic timing and especially Tori Grayling. Looking for the most part as the daughter in Grey Gardens, her hilarious timing came to the fore in the Garabaldi sequence.

The second half isn’t as strong as the first but that is hardly surprising. The play that mashes Acorn Antiques with Plan 9 from Outer Space was a real hoot.

Finally a word for the director. Sometimes, we don’t appreciate how much hard work people put in when it comes to amateur dramatics but when you see members such as Mike Jones, carrying banners, running to rehearsals after work, worrying over the script, nurturing the cast and all this for his directorial debut then it is such a pleasure when it all comes together.

Well done to you all.

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