Friday, 12 May 2017

“Outside Edge” by Richard Harris
Round Hill School, Foster Avenue, Beeston
Roger (Dave Roberts) is having trouble getting a team together for the afternoon's fixture against the British Railways Maintenance Division Yeading East but this proves to be the least of anyone's worries.
Bob (Gary Frost) is having marriage trouble as he is still doing odd jobs for his ex-wife behind his current wife Ginnie's back, played by Sue Frost.
Dennis (Paul Langston) is also having marital trouble as his wife seems intent on moving house despite the fact they only moved recently. When he finally puts his foot down she sets fire to his new car.
Kevin (Tom Jenkins) is trying to fight off his over affectionate wife Maggie (Sarah Nicholson) while at the same time nurse his injured spinning finger and Alex's new girlfriend, Sharon ( Leah Woolley), ends up shutting herself in the toilets having hysterics. Alex played by Kai Robbins
Even Roger's seemingly perfect marriage to Miriam (Alison Williams) hits the skids when she discovers he was playing away from home in more ways than one on a trip to Dorking last year.
Just when it seems things can't get any worse for them, it starts to rain.
Very much like the farces of Ray Cooney, but with less doors, there were laughs aplenty in this comical cricketing romp. This is gentle humour which was appreciated greatly by the audience. Even the sexist humour, which you shouldn't really laugh at in this modern world of political correctness, are still amusing.
The cast is a nice mix of regular faces as well as a few newcomers; Leah Woolley, Tom Jenkins and Sarah Nicholson.Tom and Sarah, aka Maggie & Kevin make a wonderful comedy couple. In fact all the couples in the play bounce off each other rather nicely.
Directed by Mark Robbins the action keeps flowing at a gentle pace and the comedy flows naturally from all actors, even Leah who has the least lines but some nice comic touches in her script.
The script is clever and wordy and delivered with a natural flow, especially from Dave Roberts, who reminds me just a little bit of Tony Robinson with his dryness.
The set was designed by Gary Frost and Sam Williams and used the aisle up the centre of the hall as an extension of the stage and steps as a runway to the cricket pitch.
It's nice when the little touches are added and especially in the sound department, meaning that you don't have to use your imagination too much. The sound of the cricket match gave you the image of the game as if you were relaxing in the cricket pavillion. Sound and lighting for this show was by Fiona Maxwell and Nina Tunnicliffe.
The last time Beeston Players performed this play was 33 years ago back in 1984 when Alison Williams played the part of Sharon. Another name which featured in that 1984 production was Barbara Barton who produced this show but was in charge of make up back 33 years ago.
Another nice touch was the home made cream teas that were on sale in the interval, with all monies going to charity for the Hospice.
Another very entertaining and solid production to go on the expanding list of shows that I've had the pleasure of seeing from the Beeston Players. They always vary their productions and the next one in November 2017 will be Arnold Ridley's "The Ghost Train"
“Outside Edge” is at Round Hill School on Foster Avenue in Beeston until Saturday with the final performance being a matinee at 2.30pm

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