Central Hall, Wymondham. 20th - 23rd April
Review by Sue Dupont
WYMONDHAM PLAYERS - WE HAPPY FEW
Director Heather Carpenter
Central Hall, Wymondham. 22 April
Certainly an excellent directorial debut (crossing from the acting side for Heather).
As expected, when the set design is in the very capable hands of David Paternoster and team, all worked extremely well on the technical side and certainly the revolve helped immensely (and cut down time) with the 17 scene changes.
The Artemis Players (based on real-life Osiris Players) really were such a strong team element, each bringing out a well-rounded and thought out developed characterisation and showing the strength of the group with seven excellent portrayals (as it says in programme ‘Calendar Girls with Clothes’). Leading the team with no allowances for any weakness, carrying forward the entertainment group to triumph, but with that ‘social’ feel of sympathy and encouragement, Tabi Paternoster as Hetty was a tower of strength and full-on character in a role that was a gift for her (and the asides of letters to the front given with great feeling). Very well supported in all efforts throughout in the group, and without whom suspect it would have fallen through, the hidden strength of Flora (Tracey Hobbs) well maintained in a good character study. A true ‘trouper’ in Wendy Ellis as Helen, the ‘professional’ in her drinking leading player role as she managed to fool the audience of her state of injury and take to centre stage. The relationship with daughter Rosalind (Kimberley Ridgeon) in the various spats worked well for both throughout, and the relationship of daughter with Charlie (Collen Giacomelli) interesting, and how the development of confidence came over in Charlie. And no lack of confidence in Becky Davies portrait of Jocelyn. And with accent firmly in place throughout, the comedy timing perfect, the raw and na´ve feelings to the forefront and relationships gaining in confidence with that script, Leanne Neave as Ivy (of broken china) had such a great role to realise in this play.
Attached to the seven and an integral part of Artemis, excellent characterisations from the Rosenbaums: Georgette Vale as Gertrude on piano with no reservations about any possible relationships with her son Joseph played by John Harrod, the refugee Germanic attitude strict and the German strong, but he came through on the love and sentiment side and converted the feeling in finale. And one should not forget Reggie, husband of Flora and pourer of oil on troubled waters, Peter Harrod and his Rolls Royce played an important role in the proceedings.
Support from the many smaller roles which kept the story moving through the tour of Britain throughout the war gave many small character studies in wardrobe, ministry, at auditions, and in towns (loved pompous mayor from David Paternoster) to augment to a cast of eighteen which is a good size cast for a play. Well done the Artemis Players and the support team, this was a Britain of resolute patriotism, and congratulations to this team.