The Greville Theatre Club



Look Who's Talking

by Derek Benfield


Oct/Nov 2002

Directed by
Diana Bradley


This two-act play by Derek Benfield deals with the trials and tribulations of deceit and misunderstanding within marriage. Sheila and Andrew are settling down to a relaxed Sunday when two unexpected visitors wander into this idyllic country scene with disturbing and riotous results.

Sheila and Andrew begin to weave a web of lies and half-truths to hide their own possible infidelities, unaware that the other is doing the same. This leads to a complicated and hilarious series of misunderstandings and mistaken identities.

Cast

SHEILA:
BRIAN:
ANDREW:
CAROLE:
JANE:


      Marcia Baldry
      Neil Fordham
      Andy Jameson
      Carol Parradine
      Judy Lee



 


Review by Pat Rudkins

In my experience, the conviviality of front-of-house forms an essential part of any production at this venue. Thus it was last Friday, when a satisfying ploughman's supper before the play and raffle proceeds to Essex Air Ambulance, was added to, for me, by being seated coincidentally next to Club President, Babs Hughes. The procession of friends that greeted her was an entertainment in itself. As for the comedy on stage - two one-set acts, and a running time of less than two hours - it was a joy from start to finish. Director, Diana Bradley, deserves copious congratulations for achieving that admirable double - a prompt-free' performance and individual and ensemble playing of a high standard, greatly aided by David Faithfull's attractive and serviceable set.

Never, surely, had marital misunderstandings provoked such laughter, thanks largely well-timed cues and reactions. Marcia Baldry, as wife Sheila, in a beautiful blue dress and necklace that matched her eyes, anchored the action from the outset with her confident performance. She was matched by Andy Jameson's seemingly effortless portrayal of husband Andrew. He changed Wellington boots and shoes with aplomb and even the apparently real bottle of champagne fizzed open at his first touch.

Neil Fordham was a more than competent would-be lover, Brian, although, personally, his shaved head would have turned off this older woman! Judy Lee fulfilled the demands of the small but important role of Jane. Last, but certainly not least, Carol Parradine really demonstrated how to delineate a character. Her boss-seeking Carole was visually exciting, the hula-hooped fingers will remain in the memory, but it was her vocal technique that nearly 'stole the show' with a laugh that, alone, should win her an adjudicator's award.

 


 

Review by
Emmanuel Ross

WHOA there! Would everybody on the stage please relax?!

Look Who's Talking!, the play taken on last week by the Greville Theatre Club at Little Easton, sure was an agitated affair. The piece supposedly tackled "the trials and tribulations of deceit and misunderstanding within marriage, but in an altogether lighter vein.

I'm not sure about that, though the cast seemed to hold some kind of strange speed talking contest. Not all the time, of course, but when that silent starter's gun went off in the actors' minds, there were some breathtakingly frantic exchanges.

We are transported to the home of a well-to-do couple, Sheila and Andrew, preparing for another Sunday lunch. Both have been naughty, however. Andrew (played by the bumblingly affable man mountain known as Andy Jameson) gets sloshed at his office do and tries it on with a secretary, while Sheila (an appropriately hand-wringing Marcia Baldry) gets friendly with a younger man after getting pickled at a party. Cue, then, the faintly ridiculous arrival of the two lovers and, of course, wait to find out whether the couple will discover the other's indiscretions.

What saves the play from complete absurdity, however, is the cast's obvious warmth and enthusiasm for performance. Brian (Neil Fordham), the amorous young buck keen on Sheila, is by turn submissive to her and ridiculously gleeful at Andrew's discomfort. He comes across as a right-nut case. Carole (Carol Parradine), the secretary who believes Randy Andy will whisk her away, cuts a satisfyingly awkward character, in her saucy clothes, among the comfy middle class surroundings.

Director Diana Bradley ensures that the play's pleasing conclusion is carried off with aplomb, sending this reviewer home feeling a bit shell-shocked, but, oddly, not in a bad way.