Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Review: Madeleine makes it a marvellous evening

Review of Murdered to Death by Thurrock Courts Players

THIS reporter has been reviewing Thurrock Courts Players for close to ten years (enter life sentence joke here…).

We have always had great respect for the work they do. On many occasions, you sit down at the Thameside Theatre, and admire all the work that has gone to put a performance on by people, who before they get to rehearsals, have 101 things to do in a normal day.

But if there is one thing we like to see, it is actors who develop their craft and over the months and years, improve their craft.

One such actress is Thurrock Courts Players, Madeleine Emmerson. On Thursday night, Madeleine, in her role as Joan Maple put on a bravura performance of comic timing and wit. It was a slight as the pseudo-Miss Marple glided her way through the evidence. It was gentle, it was warm and it was funny.

True, she was surrounded by very able members of the cast but in some ways that is exalted company. Jill Snelling was very funny as Mildred, Tori Grayling as professional as ever and Vic Gray was probably never funnier.

We also had yet again a wonderful display of bumbling ineptitude from Wayne Prince.

Louise Alsop is clearly something of a find and Luke Coldham is simply a class apart.

We must also make special mention of Dave Carey who, like Madeleine, has really come a long way. His early intonations as Bunting the Butler are laugh out loud funny.

Finally, Lisa Chapman never wasted a line and Kevin Watts does "put upon" very well.

But we return to Madeleine,, as he is an object lesson in sticking with it.

Of course, this would not have been successful without the deft direction of Mike Jones. From casting to framing each scene, this was an excellent piece of direction by Mr Jones. Seven cast members all intertwining on many occasions, is fraught twit danger but they were perfect.

On what is more, the audience loved it. Peo pay good money to see the Thurrock Courts Player and we must not forget they really look forward to seeing them.

We are so pleased they have had such a good twelve months and been acknowledged as now of the best amateur dramatic groups in the region.


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