A Bad Year for Tomatoes

Performance Review (adapted from the December 2014 Newsletter)

It well may have been A Bad Year for Tomatoes but it was good comedy at the Jubilee Hall, Bierton on 16th- 18th April when this light-hearted farce by John Patrick was staged with an excellent cast of Jubilee Players.

Congratulations to Alf Rogers for his choice of play and directing skills. He did have some luck when, about to transfer the play's location from the United States to northern England, a talented American actress appeared at the auditions, keen to participate!

This was Amber Kendrick, and she played the pivotal character Myra Marlowe, a bored television actress, with immense confidence and comic timing, holding the show together with great maturity - and her American accent was perfect!

Hannah Rogers, Christine Garvey and Emily Patricia Westlake, played Myra's nosy neighbours Cora Gump, Reba Harper and Willa Mae Wilcox, respectively, making the most of the sharp and witty dialogue to keep the audience on its toes. Emily did very well as the weird new-age clairvoyant, both looking and playing the part to perfection.

Myra's long-time agent Tom Lamont was played with urbane irony by the consistently accomplished Gareth Barton, and Piney, the laconic local backwoodsman type, was played perfectly for comic effect by Gordon Bishop. Jack Rootes, making his debut with the Players, ably portrayed the macho sheriff of the town.

On the production side, we welcomed newcomer Cara Hamilton as stage manager, backed by a crew consisting of Andy Capjon, Bob Taylor and John Tunley, all of whom also assisted on set construction, along with Gareth Barton, Alf Rogers and sound and lighting technicians Paul Styles and Spyke Stainton. Paul worked some very impressive magic on this production - with a tape recorder! Patti Reed exercised her make-up skills to good effect, and Linda Wattley took very able care of the props.

At front of house were Margaret Curtis, Cara Hamilton, Patti Reed, Anna Rogers, Mary Styles, Sue Taylor and Moira Watts, all of whom also assisted with the dishing out of the nosh organised with seemingly effortless ability by Ann Pollard.

It's a pity that there were not more people attending this supper/theatre entertainment, which would have rendered it even more successful! However, notwithstanding a lack of full houses, from the proceeds we were able to make a donation of £100 to the mental health charity MIND.