Society : Aldermaston PlayersProduction : Come On, JeevesDate : Friday 14th February 2020Venue : Parish Hall – Aldermaston Report by : Jeanette Maskell
Aldermaston Players annual dinner and theatre. These evenings are extremely
popular and normally well attended. However, whether it was because it was
Valentines day or because it was the first night, I don’t know but it was not
as large an audience as usual.
overseen by executive chef Jean Chapman was first rate; consisting of a
chicken first course supplied by Suzie and Jane catering a delightful
vanilla cheesecake followed by cheese and biscuits accompanied by coffee and
chocolates. Well done team!
The play had
all the ingredients for the making of a delightfully comical evenings’
entertainment. There was a great well written script and some excellent
characters. Unfortunately, on the evening of my visit it really wasn’t their
night! There were so many prompts it became embarrassingly uncomfortable and
entrances were slow meaning there were cast members left on stage waiting for
the action to continue.
was down to first night nerves and the rest of the performances went
Nigel Antell – (Lord Carmoyle) – The timbre of this
actor’s voice really suited the accent and enhanced his dialogue no end. He had
a great rapport with Monica and I so enjoyed the way he distanced himself from
Tricia Goodchild – (Lady Carmoyle) – Excellent dialogue
delivery and animated visuals were the making of this actress’ performance. Her
reactions to the action were spontaneous and effective and her relationship
with Rory natural. I liked the way she kept an eye on Bill and made it her
business to find out what was going on.
Karen Dignan – (Jill Wyvern) – I found this actress’
dialogue rather whiney and grating, and the accent at the start rather too
affected. However, as the performance progressed this did become more natural.
She had a good rapport with Bill and they worked well together.
Chris Faulkner – (Bill Earl of Towcester) – This actor
had a nightmare, needing numerous prompts which slowed the action and impacted
on his comedic timing. Dialogue and visuals when things were going well were
spirited and energetic and his interaction with Jeeves and Jill was first rate.
Nigel Wilson – (Jeeves Bill’s Butler) – I really
enjoyed this actor’s performance. He was every bit the wise worldly
confidential valet; offering brilliant advice and coming up with improbable
scheming plans in order to save Bill! His stance and movement were ideal;
complemented by spirited dialogue, vivid facial expressions and intuitive
Kim Antell – (Ellen Bill’s Housemaid) – This cameo
role was skilfully portrayed by this young lady. She had well-articulated
dialogue and expressive visuals, which enhanced her performance famously.
Kerry Thomas – (Mrs Spottsworth) – As the wealthy
American looking to purchase Towcester Abbey this actress gave a great
performance. Dialogue was dynamic with a well-maintained American accent and
visuals were lively and animated. Her relationship with Captain Bigger was coy
and coquettish which was quite becoming. I so enjoyed her scene with Bill as he
tried to relieve her of her necklace,
Derek Spears – (Captain Biggar) – This actor was the
saviour of this piece, giving a positive confident and assertive performance. His
dialogue delivery was superb, clear audible and well intoned. I really enjoyed
his “Big White Hunter” treatment of Bill and the excellent rapport he had with
Chris Goodchild – (Colonel Blagden) – This cameo role was
well portrayed by this actor. His dialogue delivery was clear audible and well
intoned. He slotted seamlessly into the action and made his responses appear
Chris Boott – (Director) – I really felt for this director.
He must have been tearing his hair out!
you have worked so hard to bring the characters to life and create a fun piece
of theatre it must be heart breaking to see your cast lose the plot like that. He had developed interesting characters and
given them good direction, insisting on the use of BBC English. Staging was
adequate; though with a limited acting area there was quite a bit of masking,
which detracted from the action. There were some excellent moments during the
performance; Bill and Jeeves’ trying to get the ticket from Captain Biggar,
Bill trying to get the necklace from Mrs Spottsworth and the curtain moment to
name but a few. These worked really well and had been expertly directed.
Sandra Faulkner – (Stage Manager) – With a static set this
SM had very little to do. She made certain that the prosceniums were pulled at
the right time and kept the wings clear to enable the cast easy access for
their entrances and exits. I could see that it was very tight behind that back
wall so all credit to her for helping to keep the action moving.
Douglas Falkner – (Lighting/Sound) – This technician did
a grand job in cuing lighting and sound effect. The lighting was warm and full
on creating much needed depth and atmosphere to the proceedings. It would have
been nice to have seen some lighting off stage behind the two doors; but not
vital. Sound effects were for the most part perfect for their use; however, the
telephone was a little odd! What a shame you were unable to rig up the phone to
Ange Boott/Clare Bruton – (Wardrobe) – Costumes were uniform to
the chosen period and suited the characters entirely. I was particularly
impressed with Mrs Spottsworths’ and Jeeves looked resplendent in his butler
outfit and an absolute hoot as Lady Agatha.
Louise Marshall – (Make-up/Wigs) – Makeup had been well
applied on all cast members and the women’s makeup was appropriate to the era
concentrating on highlighting lips and eyes. The wigs used for the three female
characters were absolutely right and suited their personalities perfectly.
Faulkner/Sandra Faulkner/Dave Hard/Adrian Thomas – (Set Construction) – This set worked
really well giving the impression of past affluence but now looking shabby and
a little decrepit. It had been well built with two practical doors and an
archway covered with a curtain; which was vital to the plot.
Brown/Val Hall/Cathy Jones/Gill Tomlins – (Front of House) – This team is always so friendly and
ready to meet and greet at the drop of a hat. Once again, they were there as
soon as I entered the hall and it was great to have a catch up. Thank you for
looking after me so well.
Jeanette Maskell – NODA Representative – London
Region – Area 13