Sunday, December 10, 2023

Courts Players Provide a Twist

Theatre goers to the Thameside were faced with a twisting plot, bewildering characters and plenty of belly laughs as Thurrock Courts players presented “Tomb with a View”. Written by Norman Robbins, the play deals with the reading of a will of the late Septimus Tomb. The family gather eagerly to gather the spoils but all is not as expected.

Making her Courts debut was the young Mary Bloss who played the author “Freda”. This girl could be a strong Courts performer for the future and delivered her role with confidence. She was ably supported by Dave Carey as Perry who appeared to be the only “normal” character in the cast. As usual Dave delivered a totally believable performance . John Scowen’s “Lucien” delivered more facial twists and ticks than a bulldog chewing a wasp and Vic Gray solidly performed the role of the crusty family solicitor “Penworthy”. Unfortunately, however, the choice of wig bore an uncanny resemblance to someone infamously in the news at the moment. Karen Reeves oozed sex appeal as she strutted across the stage as the temptress Monica and had a wonderful entrance with her opening line of “take your flabby fingers of me you fat bitch. This was directed at Jill Snelling who played the sexless Emily with great skill. Another Courts newcomer was Jenny Lee who played the batty and dithering Dora. She attained just the right aura for her character.

Victoria Grayling just goes from strength to strength in her Courts performances . Last seen as the wonderfully wet “Mary” in “How the Other Half Loves” this was another excellent character transformation as her character Anne goes from weak, meek nurse to dominant, vicious killer. Jayne Jones stole several scenes with her dour housekeeper “Agatha”. Trevor Povey probably had the hardest role as Marcus who is convinced he is Caesar. Trevor did his best but I felt he needed to move around the stage far more as he seemed rooted to the spot for long periods.

Directed by Martyn Williams “Tomb with a View” is not the best, or funniest, play ever written but Thurrock audiences enjoyed every minute.

The new season begins in February with a return to an Alan Ayckbourn hit “Seasons Greetings”. It will be a busy year for Courts as, not only are they producing their normal three full plays, they are also performing three one act plays at various festivals in 2013.

Fancy joining them? You can find out more at


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