Thursday 17 November 2016

“Disposing Of the Body” by Beeston Players
Roundhill School, Beeston.
Henry and Angela Preece take early retirement and move from London to the Cotswolds. Their only son, Ben, is now living in California, and they miss him. Angela is happy to continue in her role as home-maker, but Henry is finding it harder to settle in their new environment. They meet their neighbours, Alexander and Joanna Barley, and the friendship that develops is promising, albeit a little strained to start. When Joanna begins to take on secretarial duties for Henry, it’s not long before the two begin an affair which ultimately proves to be the unravelling of Henry. Then Angela disappears…..
Written by Hugh Whitemore, to me neither a well-known play or author, it’s always good to see local theatre groups not relying on the better known pieces of theatre; one thing you cannot level at The Beeston Players.
The first act is peppered with several monologues which require the audience to really listen and pay attention, but the second act is where all the action is and it’s important to have the ground-laying of the story in act one to make the second act heightened with emotion.
This play is so different to anything else that I have seen The Beeston Players perform in the past. This is a serious murder mystery but without a body and a few twists thrown in for good measure,
i'm not going to single out any one of the actors because they all acted as a group but I can say that they have really upped their gain in this play, showing that they are worthy serious actors as well as being able to perform the comedy style plays they have done of late.
Rob Jackson (Henry), Nicola Adkin (Angela), Andrew Pidgeon (Ben), Gary Frost (Alexander), Abbie Maddison (Joanna), Alison Williams (Kate), Ian Greatorex (Inspector Poole), Paul Langston (Bassett) and Sarah Nicholson(the waitress) all gave wonderful performances in their roles.
Directed by Larraine Maddison, she managed to keep the pace going as well as leaving gaps to create that air of mystery and tension. At times a gap can say more than a hundred words can say.
Changing the opening and ending where in the past the cast are in place on stage at the start and the end while the audience take their seats, was a wise choice as that can make an audience feel a bit uncomfortable.
Lovely use of light and sound effects thanks to Fiona Maxwell & Martin Coleman and a very natural and realistic set, designed by Sam Williams.
From the producer Sue Frost all the way to the stage management, Tom Jenkins, this team showed us a completely different side to this theatre group, and I loved what they showed us.
The play leaves you with several unanswered questions and for you to decide what really happened to Angela, which is refreshing in a mystery play. I can literally say that this play had me on the edge of my seat and. not having researched the play too closely, i left the ending until I saw the play,and I am so glad I did.
There were just a couple of very minor things I would have changed, but I am being very, very picky here. Joanna wore the same outfit three times and we all know that a woman wouldn't do that in such a short time space. The other was Ben's pacing about was a little too much for me. i would have had Ben perched on the table edge or sat back to front on one of the dining chairs and less pacing. That is just me though and who am I to change what the directions of the play states. Incredibly minor details which probably no other audience member would even have taken note of.
"Disposing Of the Body" by Beeston Players is on Friday at 7.30pm and then on Saturday at 2.30 pm at Round Hill School, so go along and see a new side to this very talented and welcoming group of people. Go along and support local theatre.

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