Sunday, July 21, 2024

Don’t Dress For Dinner

Don’t Dress for Dinner by Marc Camoletti
Ad Hoc Players

So, Bernard is married to Jacqueline and Robert is with Suzette and Suzanne is with George who is having an affair with Jacqueline whilst Robert is playing away with Suzanne or have I got all that completely wrong? Marc Camoletti has written a clever script which Ad Hoc Players presented as the second full length play in the Thurrock Drama Festival.

Adjudicator Paul Fowler thought that the piece gave the cast a vast challenge as the writing is fast paced but that pace has to be maintained. He indicated that the set hadn’t been used to its full advantage causing dynamics and tension to be lost, due to cast members standing side by side in lines. Careful thought needs to be given to positioning of stage furniture so as not to hinder the action.

There were some good moments in this play but the play needed shape. The cast were guilty of letting pace slip on too many occasions and not building up to climaxes as the author had intended . There were some real laugh out moments that were well delivered and well timed. When performing farce you cannot afford to throw away lines as each line is designed to drive pace and to achieve maximum momentum.

Hilary Andrews won praise for her performance as Jacqueline, Susie Purkiss gave a jaunty side to the part of Suzette whilst Adrianna Casali’s portrayal of Suzanne was dynamic and believable .

Ad Hoc players gave the audience a laugh but needed more pace and momentum and work is needed on this production to improve movement and positioning.

The festival continues tonight with Bejou Players


  1. I saw this production last week in Upminster. The stage there is very, very small and the set had been design, from what i could tell, around that area. To then, with in a week, bring it to the huge stage at Thurrock was, in my option a very hard task. They set had been changed to work with the bigger stage, and I did feel the adjudicator did not know this. A lot the adjudicator’s time was spent talking about staging, which is a very important point of the production, don’t get me wrong, however it was felt in the group I was sitting with, both in listening to him and talking in the bar after, the focus was not on the actors. He did not pick up on that Jacqueline walked out on to the stage and heard the whole conversation about Suzette being the cook, which gave the whole story away. It was a great production, and yes there was problems with pace, and lost lines. However giving the fact they came from a small stage they did really well, I enjoyed George, Robert and Barnard who seem to have been left off this article. Great job you should be very pleased with yourselves!


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