This was an amusing pastiche on amdram at its worst.
Holly Seijo gave a convincing performance as Margaret, wannabe chairperson of the FDS. She was suitably upset when no one voted for her and Gordon (David Fewkes) was re-elected chairman. The group's finances were in dire straits and they needed to come up with £400 unpaid rent. It appeared that the next production would be their last. However, Gordon had written a farce which was to be promoted as a sex comedy to attract a large audience, so they could make a profit on their last performance.
Hilary Osman as Joyce gave a bubbling delivery of someone longing to burst into song, suggesting well known musicals requiring large casts, when the group had dwindled to just four members and Joyce's acting skills were somewhat lacking. Hilary's rendition of her playing an angry woman, in Gordon's play, appearing like a flapping ostrich pursuing Margaret's character across the stage, was thoroughly enjoyed by the audience.
Bernard, the set designer forced to play a part in this supposed final production, was amusingly played by Nick Abbott. His role as the local butcher was delivered in a monotone, getting louder & louder when asked to act more convincingly by Gordon, the director. He rolled his eyes and stomped off set in disgust several times after Margaret made derogatory remarks but was persuaded back by Gordon.
'A pity your sets aren't as wooden as your acting' was one of Margaret's comments.
Gordon spent much of the time frustrated, with his face in his hands, desperate as his cast was still struggling with the script the evening before the opening night. David's execution was forceful and commanding, supported by strong performances from all the cast.
The play within the play was not actually shown but there was a twist arising from its 'successful run', to bring the plot to a humorous end.
Altogether a very enjoyable short comedy.
Old jokes are still the best!
Deke Brenton (Robin Walker, with a harsh New York accent, well sustained throughout) is estranged from his young wife and relations between them come to a dramatic, although ridiculous, climax during the course of the play. He runs an advertising agency, founded by his grandfather, with one client (Friends Condoms - ripe for every obvious joke!) and one member of staff, copywriter Brett Howard (played with an hilarious American twang by Mark Hollidge).
Deke is enraged when he discovers his young English wife, Lana (Nicola Clift), has managed to purchase a majority holding in his company and starts divorce proceedings. From here onwards the plot becomes more farcical, involving his ex wife, Blanche de Ville (played with aplomb and superiority by Barbara Jones), their son lost as a baby, Deke & Lana's daughter, Foxglove (Holly Seijo delivering another excellent comic role, dragging her leg evermore dramatically from one side of the stage to the other) and Lana's lawyer brother, Matt (Stewart Marlowe - embroiled in finding a hit man for Deke)!
Of course by the end of the play all the issues had been neatly resolved, with an hilarious culmination and lots of obvious jokes, such as (Deke) 'You are not from New York are you? New Jersey?' - (Brett) 'No it's just one I feel comfortable in', plus the inevitable condom jokes.
In my experience, this was one of FDS's best performances and the audience agreed by laughing raucously at times and giggling most of the way through.
For more information about Farnborough Dramatic Society, visit their website.
Margot Rohan, Orpington Community