Wednesday, 9 May 2018

“Cat On The Fiddle” by John Dole
Beeston Players
Roundhill School, Foster Avenue, Beeston
David’s Italian penpal, Mario, is coming to stay, his wife Kate goes to her mother’s so that they can practise their languages in peace. When the penpal turns up, Mario is not quite what David had expected and Mario brings to the house more than David and his wife expected!
Celebrating their 50th Anniversary, The Beeston Players go back to their first performed play to celebrate this milestone. And what a way to celebrate! Possibly the best comedy farce that I've seen Beeston Players perform, and I've seen some corkers here.
Steve Rowlinson (David Abbott) is a dream to watch and Steve's facial expressions only add to his comedic presentation of the role.
Sue Frost (Kate Abbott), is also wonderful to watch, taking great pleasure in dealing out the violence to Arturo.
Sarah Nicholson (Mrs Macwhimble) plays the landlord of the property with a brilliant, almost non-plussed, delivery of her lines which makes the lines even funnier.
Gwen Murray (Mrs Scott) has a wonderful naturalistic sense of comedy and timing who produces one of the surprises of this play at the end.A wonderful character piece for this talented actress.
Dave Roberts (Taxi Driver) who also appears in several other guises throughout. I've seen dace in several other productions for Beeston Players and always delivers cracking comedy characters and performances.
Cathy Rackstraw (A Visitor), and I can't say too much about this role without giving away too much, but let me just say that Cathy portrays a character that will take a long rime for me to get out of mind; and I love her costumes!
Paul Langston (Cuthbert Fortesque) gets a cameo role in the form of the vicar, well there has to be one in most farces. Looking, physically,not too dissimilar to the Reverend Richard Coles ex of The Communards, he manages to add to the comic value of this play.
Gary Frost (Arturo Cellini) plays a rare baddie in this farce, but you can't take his nasty intentions too seriously. Loved the accent and the snazzy costume, and as ever a complete joy to watch work. i do pity his head though by the end of the run as his is the one on the receiving end of Kate's batterings!
Debbie Blake (Mrs Bottle) plays the plumber who gets a real eyeful and getting more than she expected in the bathroom! A wonderful character piece.
Tom Jenkins and Kevin Fairbrother play the Policemen.
Director Barbara Barton has pulled it off big style. What a way to start their 50th Anniversary celebrations with such a brilliant farce. This was the first play that Beeston Players performed in 1968 and seemed so right to perform this 50 years on. Barbara has every right to be proud of her cast and production team.
One thing that I notice is the sound and lighting in every production and the sound effects (Sam Williams) were spot on.
The lighting (Fiona Maxwell and Nina Tunnicliffe) was well timed.
Loved the set design (Sam Williams and Steve Rowlinson) which has the obligatory four doors for a farce, and had a lovely 1960's feel about it, as did the costumes, make up and hair (Maxine Taylor).
This friendly and welcoming theatre group go from strength to strength and this play shows them in their best light and plays to their comedic fortes.The couple of slips (well if they were slips!) made tonight were so well covered up by the cast that this also can only show what professional attitudes they all have towards their work.
“Cat On the Fiddle” is at Roundhill School, Beeston Thursday and Friday at 7.30pm and Saturday for a matinee performance at 2.30pm

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