|Review of The Odd Couple - June 2012
Couple. This was billed as the "female" version, which had intrigued us.
We’ve lived in the village for over 30 years and have seen quite a few productions by the Players. This surpassed all of them.
The first half comprised excellent performances by 6 ladies (New Yorkers, in various stages of inebriation) at a girlie-night supper
allowing them to complain about the men (or lack of them) in their lives. The twist came when the optimistic one set up a joint
dinner date for the divorced, lonely one with 2 Spanish men living in their apartment block.
The second half saw great barn-storming performances from James Crofts and Paul Lovett as the comedy Spaniards, with the
usual misunderstandings and double-entendres (accompanied by knowing winks from the Spaniards), not to mention the
An appreciative audience seemed to enjoy the whole play - it was an excellent choice for the players’ production.
CR (First Published in "Parish Link" June 2012 - the Westoning & Tingrith parish news - see left)
|Email:- Re "Owl & Pussycat" ..... 5/12/2012 Subject: Had a great time...
Fab production as usual.....excellent casting/ costumes and pace throughout. My little guests were enthralled and that's what
it's all about. PLEASE pass on my congrats x
(From Sue Tubb, Actress, grandmother, former WP...)
|Post-show Feedback from Colin Calvert - Author of "Building Bridges" April 2013
I have seen 5 other local UK productions...and I enjoyed this one most!
When I write, I always have pictures and voices and situations in my head... And this production exceeded even my looniest moments. Brilliant!
Direction... Paul's extensive experience showed in the smooth flowing of the action. Good directors always make everything look obvious! The scenery was
a triumph over limited space. He got the moods just right...the contrast between the everyday ferret scene and the surreal Lennon song and the quasi
Trish... Jan was uncannily like every Ranger I ever met. The PC stuff..the H&S phobias...just right...and very charming with it.
Bob....James was a natural. Great timing and just the right attitude. The real "Bob" was on holiday ..as were several other members of the real group..and
wanted to see himself on stage.
Excellent ankle breakage! I am always slightly nervy about that!
Clive! Wow.. From his entrance, I couldn't take my eyes off him..the open mouth and great loony style.. and excellent rock performance. I included this
risky scene to lift the whole show from a documentary style to a stage performance. It would have been flatter without it. Secretly, I identify with Clive!...but
I don't have the comedy gift which Andrew has in spades.
Mandy. Another Wow! Terrific Essex girl image with overtones of menace. Amazing looks and great comic timing... and you could imagine the other parts
of her dodgy lifestyle. The V sign with the nails is in the script, I think...but delivered with panache. WP is lucky to have Sam around.
Beryl.. Great relaxed assured performance by Claire. Just right from the Nasty Card lunacy to the mellow finale. (guilty secret.. At a meeting I was running
years ago, I did actually say. " this is mind over matter..I don't mind and you don't matter." I just lost it for a moment..and regretted it ever since.. So
putting it in a play is therapy!)
The rivalry between Beryl and Bob is what happens in every volunteer group!.. And Beryl will always win.
Molly... Jennie was a perfect Molly, apparently Beryl's sidekick..but a lot more than that. The list of poisons was finalised with the snapping of the rhubarb,
which deservedly got a big laugh. I seem to have met several Molly's in my life... Sweetness and light with some dark side. It was a great
performance...being a sidekick must be one a difficult role... But she had the last laugh!
Dog walkers..great! We really did have someone ask the real group if we were prisoners. In an evil moment, I said yes..and was just about to go into detail,
when the guy drove off at speed.
The invisible dogs looked a bit active too.
Light and sound..just what was required...and on cue. The song ambience was perfect.
All in all, we really enjoyed the evening...and even a non-gluten meal!
Congratulations to all....and thank you
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|Agatha Crusty and the Village Hall Murders By WESTONING PLAYERS 16th to 18th 2015
Having seen and been in many amateur productions over the years,it seems to me that often the cast are having all the fun!Not so in
this production! What a great evening's entertainment and along with everyone else in the audience, I had a great time last Friday
Whoever did the casting is to be congratulated. All the actors were playing to their strengths with great comedic timing,excellent cue
bite and fast pace of delivery from them all.Some actors took on bigger roles this time and showed they could do it and do it well.
Particular "Congrats " to them but also brave newcomers and our longer term actors, who always surprise me with their versatility, all
suitably dressed and totally in character as always. A simple set yes,but exactly as it should be....evoking every village hall I have ever
seen.Direction and production, lighting and sound,scene changers and prompt,all seemingly effortlessly done and mostly unseen,but
I know how much preparation and hard work that takes....well done to you too.
Finally, punctuate the evening with some yummy food and a raffle "done and dusted" quickly and WESTONING PLAYERS have done it
again! My only regret is that I wasn't in it!
Sue Tubb ( former active member,now a Patron)
|Agatha Crusty & the VHM (crit by JT)
A great deal of fun was to be had at Westoning Village Hall last weekend when the Players performed “Agatha Crusty and the Village
Hall Murders”. The play’s many scenes were punctuated by breaks for two courses of food and, of course, visits to the bar, but the
momentum was maintained and our detection skills stretched to the limit as the improbable murder count increased.
Agatha Crusty, capably played by Jan Crofts as a sweetly intelligent visitor to the village, was always one step ahead of D.I. Twigg who
had the major responsibility of the bulk of the dialogue, chock full of amusing malapropisms. It was no mean feat to get all those
complicated lines under his belt and Phil Bonner, a newcomer to the Westoning stage, managed the task admirably, coming across
as a dopey Arthur Mullard type with some good comic touches.
We had lovely comedy playing too from James Crofts, as the hall caretaker, and Bruce Masters, as the ineffectual vicar, both well-
known comic stereotypes called for by Derek Webb’s script. More conventional playing was required from Sam Cullen as Alice and
Nita Foster as Eleanor to keep the plot moving and the audience guessing, and it was good to see the transformation of Maisie, the
typical charlady, (Jennie Edwards), into a wild-eyed mad assassin at the denoument.
Full marks go especially to Bernice Kild / Neil Debrick in the dual role of siblings Olivia and Oliver, whose swift costume, wig and
makeup changes backstage and increasingly manic appearances onstage kept us laughing.
There were nice cameos from Suzanne Marlow as Isabella, Claire Jones as Mandy and Barry Rosovske as the local bobby, as well as
Dave Loader playing the non-speaking role of Mortimer Gascoigne’s corpse in the cupboard.
Director Paul Lovett, ably assisted by Claire Jones, clearly understood the genre and got the best out of a large and varied cast. Moving
12 actors around on the tiny Westoning stage was never going to be an easy job! A few fluffed lines here and there, the odd slow cue
bite and occasional upstaging were unimportant in this light-hearted romp which fully succeeded in its intention to entertain and help
us forget the coming election for a few hours!
Congratulations to all!
|Agatha Crusty and the Village Hall Murders - April 2015 - audience feedback from J. Saunders
We thoroughly enjoyed the Production, the cast were excellent and all who were associated with Agatha Crusty and the Village Hall
Murders gave their all.
Please pass on our congratulations and best wishes to the Company.
|Going Postal Play Comparison by Colin Hicks
© Colin Hicks and http://discworldmonthly.co.uk/
Going Postal adapted by Stephen Briggs and performed by the Westoning Players; Bedfordshire.
In November I caught the performance given by the Westoning Players in Bedfordshire. Excellent.
This performance being held in a village hall they had a small, more traditional stage. But it in some ways it probably made it easier to
produce this play. There was a lot of running into the isles and using the hall doors. But they were also able to go vertically using the
stage's trapdoor which was useful for Moist's escape and the roof of the Post Office scenes.
The two titular characters, Moist and the Patrician - without whom you don't really have a play - were played quite differently, than the other
version (that I saw recently at Cardiff).
Moist - Neil Debrick - looked to be in his early 30s and a bit - worldly wise. This still works for the character as we can well imagine
Moist's life as a con man lasting 10-15 years before Vetinari catches up with him. The Patrician here was played by Barry Walden, a
much older man, probably nearer the "book age" of Vetinari and he played him loud voiced and domineering. Literally leaning over Moist
at one point. But these two have some of the best scenes together, the word play between them is wonderful (Mr Briggs of course lifting
it straight from the novel). I suspect some may have preferred this older Patrician... (my companion with me in Cardiff thought the actor
there too young.)
This being a smaller cast quite a few of the parts had to be shared and many had to be gender swapped. Both Mr Groat, Stanley,
Drumknott & Mr Pony were played by women. And it worked; particularly with Mr Groat and Stanley, it doesn't matter what sex they are.
All in all, this was an excellent production and I was very glad to have my expectations proved wrong. It doesn't matter whether you are a
larger group with some resources or a small village group, if you have a great cast then these plays (or any for that matter) will work.
|from Helen Armitage
What a wonderful evening ..
I so enjoyed it, the standard is so very high...
Why would people go to the west end when there are such excellent
productions here ...
|from Brian and Sue Winterson
It was a superb evening's entertainment. We thoroughly enjoyed the set and
the performance of everyone.
Please thank everyone involved .
Brian & Sue
|"MURDERED TO DEATH" - Apr 2017
from Pat Struthers
Many congratulations to you and everyone for such a splendid evening.
We really enjoyed it.
Best wishes to you all.
|"MURDERED TO DEATH" - Apr 2017
from 2 friends (of our prompt), from Maulden, (Friday night)
“A huge thank you to Westoning Players for the most amazing and
entertaining evening on Friday. How on earth do you all remember so many
lines? The production had us on the edge of our seats and of course we had
no inkling of the real villain(ess).
We look forward to future productions!”