An Abingdon, Oxfordshire, Drama Group
a Comedy by Peter Quilter
Unicorn Theatre Sept 2013
Here is a slightly condensed version of Gareth Jeremy's NODA review:-
Once again my thanks to Director, -- Deidre Jones, for the invitation to review your latest production, --- 'The Nightingales', by Peter Quilter.
This was the first time I had seen a play by this author, and therefore it was a new experience.!
I must say, that for me personally, it did not have the same fascination, as some of the' great' authors, -- I did not come out during the interval, puzzling as to what may happen towards the end of the play., -- still that may be my 'strange mind' .?
The 'Lantern Show', for the fifteen minutes prior to the play opening, always sets the scene for the evenings entertainment. The research required is a tremendous undertaking, and putting it all together takes time.
The Set, -- designed by Deidre, and Mike, -- was up to their usual high standard.
Lighting, by John Bradford, -- was simple, but very effective.
Sound, and Effects, by Peter Bradley,-- was well thought out, and 'spot on', -- congratulations.
Wardrobe, --- Freda Scott, and BreakaLeg. The clothes were in period, and seemed well fitting for each character.
Programme and Poster Design. -- Mike Davies, and Deidre Jones. The programme speaks for itself, and has such a 'high quality', and as many of you know, -- it has done exceptionally well in the NODA competition, both regionally, and Nationally. - Congratulations.
Front of House.--- who ever is on duty, always greets one with a smile, and one is made to feel very welcomed.-Thank you.
Behind the Scenes, --- Director - Deidre Jones, and Production Manager Mike Davies, -- had put a lot of thought into this production....
The Players, --in order of appearance, :-
Maggie, --- (Viv Beckett). Confident performer, whose diction was good, and her character in the play came over very well, as the play progressed, from showing her presence as Jack's secretary, to being his lover. Looked good on stage, and used her surroundings to good effect.
Jack Nightingale, --- (Jim Cottrell). A sound performance, and a most believable character, -- he was on stage for most of the time, and his character never faltered. - he had to put up with a lot from his ageing retired Music Hall parents - to his 'so called', -- worry with his wife dying, --- a complicated character to play, but his experience showed. Well done.
Geraldine, -- (Maxine Ford) .. I am not sure if she fully understood her character fully, -- I felt she could have given us a little more, as she had some good 'one liners', which did not come across to the audience. She made good use of the stage, and some of her facial expressions were good., -- diction was clear.
Charlie Nightingale, -- (Mike Davies). He knew his place, having spent so many years in Music Halls, -quietly spoken, but clear diction, and some very good facial expressions, when he looked occasionally at his 'old dutch'. Some good 'banter' between him and his son Jack, as to the length of time they would stay at the Nightingale residents.
Beatrice Nightingale, -- (Julie Kedward). Whatever character Julie takes on, -- she has 'studied' it, and is always very convincing in what she does. Excellent diction, and her timing is so professional. Another excellent performance. How do you find the time to learn so many parts in a year?
The play received a warm reception from the audience at the end, but for me personally it did not have the same wawh factor, as some of the Oscar Wilde evenings, -- but at the end of the day, we must give our audiences variety, -- and that what BreakaLeg, does.
NODA Region 12- Oxfordshire.