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BreakaLeg Productions
An Abingdon, Oxfordshire, Drama Group
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by Noel Coward
My thanks once again to Deidre Jones (Director), for the invitation to your latest production, it is always a pleasure to come to your productions, and to such a quaint venue.
All the cast captured the style and wit of the Noel Coward period, and style, and the 'Sound, and Effects' from Peter Bradley. The Fashion News of the ‘twentys' [overhead video] set the tone for the evenings performance, and the clever introduction of the voice of Noel Coward (Jon Crowley), with the opening announcements, was the icing on the cake'.
The Set by Bruce Scott, was in period, and I liked some of the household items, like the 'old fashion gramophone’, and the period matching chairs, all very authentic, and the entire cast seemed comfortable with it. I liked the 'bright sunshine' through the French windows.

The gallery is a bonus to any set, and I would have liked to have seen more use made of it, e.g. anyone going to David Bliss’ study to be seen crossing it, instead of just disappearing, as if to go upstairs, having said that, you may have had restrictions back stage that I am unaware of?

The Costumes, were a feast of delight with such style and sparkle, supported by period Wigs and Hair by Freda Scott, and Make Up by Heather Calvert- Fisher -- well done.  Small details such as correct shoes, jewellery, red nail polish, hair arrangement, all add to a professional finish.
The play sped along at a splendid pace, and the interaction between the cast was well rehearsed, and all deliveries of words and actions convinced the audience of the believable story.

The Players:

Lydia Henderson (Sorel Bliss)
Looked good on stage, clear voice and what great facial expressions, beautifully gowned, and super make up.  I am sure she thoroughly enjoyed herself playing the role.

Edward Henderson (Simon Bliss)
Looked immaculate on stage, good stage presence, and very clear diction, - had a natural rapport with Sorel, which is not difficult to understand, being brother and sister in real life.  The 'Arts Foundation course' has I'm sure helped him, and I look forward to seeing him in future productions with you.

Jayne Henderson (Judith Bliss)
A large pivotal part, who is in command throughout. There were times when I felt there were too many unnecessary moves about the stage, particularly in the opening scenes, - they were small moves, but for what purpose?  For me this was distracting, and felt the character should' hold centre stage' (just a personal point of view). Perhaps a period wig would have added to this glamorous character look. I feel sure she would have been very 'up to the minute' in style as a well known 'theatrical star'.
Mike Davies (David Bliss)  
A lovely comfortable role to play, who really enjoyed his amorous attentions to Myra, on the sofa, interesting facial expressions, and he seemed to have enjoyed playing the character!

Harry McCarthy (Sandy Tyrell)
This was so correct, and fun to watch. He ran around the set with such confidence, and everything he did was such an enjoyable performance. Well done, and I wish you every success when you go to University later in the year, - and I hope you will continue with some acting.

Julie Kedward (Myra Arundel)
Her diction and stage presence, and character were delightful another splendid performance.

Mark Wilkin (Richard Greatham)
An experienced actor who brought this part to life, again some fine facial expressions, when in a 'tight corner'. This again was an enjoyable performance.

Tracy Leiper (Jackie Coryton)
This character grew on me, as the play proceeded, good diction, although I fear there was a voice problem on the night, but she overcame them in her performance.

Jenny Shepherd (Clara)
This actress certainly made the most of being at "every–one's beck and call", with a few mumbled 'ad libs', which the audience thoroughly enjoyed, -- well done.

The Programme & Poster Design (Mike Davies)
This again was of a very high standard, produced on good quality paper, readable in subdued light, covered all aspects of the show, with some excellent quality photographs of the production.  Certainly worthy winners of the NODA London June King Memorial Trophy for programme design in 2010 for “I'll Get My Man”.

Thank you all again for an enjoyable evenings entertainment, A lot of hard work had been put in by many people.

Gareth Jeremy.       
National Operatic & Dramatic Association
London Area - Region 12.

NODA Review