Di and Viv and Rose | 25th – 30th June 2018

Di and Viv and Rose by Amelia Bullmore

Directed by Howard James

The hilarious and heart-warming comedy features three fun-loving young women, house-sharing for the first time.

It’s 1984 and, as Prince says, ‘Let’s Go Crazy’. The play is a thoughtful exploration of friendship’s impact on life and life’s impact on friendship.

Cast

Di…………………….Diane Carters
Viv……………………Laura Gamble
Rose………………..Rachel Cormican

Review by Theo Spring

As is eruditely pointed out in the programme notes endorsing female friendships in literature, Amelia Bullmore’s play brings a modern take on the enduring friendship between three girls of very diverse characters.

As is only clear from the closing scenes, it seems to have been kind, ebullient and rather promiscuous Rose who threaded the three university friends together in their house share. Viv is the studious, brainy one, aiming for a first class degree, Di, a lesbian, is sporty but unsure of her way forward and Rose, who sleeps around, who cooks, who cares and soon loses any career prospects when she gives birth to twins from who knows which of eight possible fathers.

The casting for the three seemed perfect. Laura Gamble’s Viv was prim, proper and, with one delightful exception, un-giving,  again until a final reveal. Diane Carters’ Di gave lesbian dating problems both humour and angst and Rachel Cormican’s Rose was warm, funny, affectionate to her friends and the mainstay of the trio’s friendship.

So much was good about this production. Spanning the period from 1983 when the girls first met at university, to 2010 when they are worldly-wise women, an overhead screen led the audience through the time scale with additional clues given through their changes in costume. Music played a prominent role with tracks from the various years.  There was one spectacular musical eruption when all three let go with exuberant well-choreographed moves to Queen’s Don’t Stop Me Now which, played back at the end, after the tale had taken a sad turn, revived the joy of their house-sharing time.

This playback was just one of many excellent uses of back-projection and images in the hands of Jon Lewis and technical co-ordinator Ian James, all seamlessly delivered.  The demands of a set requiring, amongst others, a corridor in university halls complete with old-fashioned pay phone, a main set of the student’s living area, an apartment in New York and a café on the concourse of a busy train station were so well met by set designer Alan Matthews where ingenuity was copiously used.  Costumes were changed with rapidity, as demanded by the change of year (s) and here Wardobe Mistress Diana Quinn and her team had input from the cast from their own wardrobes. On a very hot June night, my sympathy went out to Laura Gamble as Viv, in her thick black winter coat. The delivery of what was certainly a high calibre production does not come without dedicated and enthusiastic collaboration from a wide group of personnel. The programme bears witness to many of the names involves and, as always with such productions, there was likely input from un-named helpers too.

Director Howard James can only have been thrilled with the way his ‘girls’ interpreted their roles and most certainly did both him and Theatre 62 proud. The play was new to me – I was very pleased to make its acquaintance and, should it come my reviewing way again, I doubt I shall see it better performed.

Communicating Doors | 23rd – 28th April 2018

Communicating Doors by Alan Ayckbourn.

Directed by Kerry Heywood

A dominatrix is hired for an elderly man by the hotel caretaker, but the man doesn’t want sexual services.

He wants her to witness a confession to the murders of his two previous wives by his psychopathic partner.

The dominatrix finds a link through time: can she escape with her own life and go back through time to rescue the wives before they can be killed?

Cast

Julian……. Howard James
Poopay….  Alice Heather
Ruella…… Janet Edden
Jessica….   Ruth Aylward
Reece…..    Rob Chambers
Harold…..   Ian Evans

Review by Theo Spring

“Playwright Alan Ayckbourn put something of almost every theatrical genre into Communicating Doors, making it intriguing for the audience and certainly demanding for the cast and director.

There’s tension and terror shaken up with a good dose of comedy and a plot with not one but two clever twists at the end.

Fully up to these demands, the cast wholly created their very different characters from the sinister Julian to the comic Harold, with a dominatrix thrown in for good measure and a husband whose wives had both met untimely ends.

Alice Heather’s dominatrix Poopay certainly provided the wow factor in her leather costume at the start of the play, morphing into an almost entirely different person under her ‘real’ name of Phoebe. Hardly off the stage and faultless on her lines, she convincingly changed again as one of the unexpected ‘twists’. The interaction between Phoebe and Ruella – an equally load-bearing role expertly and enthusiastically delivered by Janet Sharrock – created unrelenting pace as Ruella – the second Mrs Wells – moved from one plan to the next to try and avert both her own predicted murder and that of the first Mrs Wells – Jessica.

Set in Adrian Pope’s beautifully-decorated hotel room which identified as being replicated throughout the hotel depending on which room number it was, there is a mystery cupboard in which individuals, rather like Dr. Who’s Tardis, travel in time. Part of the intrigue relied on not knowing which year it would be when each traveller returned to the room. Clever Ruella worked out what was happening and gave Phoebe a most plausible explanation, partly for the benefit of the audience I suspect.

Julian, is a nasty piece of work, here given wonderful menace by Howard James. He is business partner to Reece whom we meet as an old man, a honeymooner and a dad, with Rob Chambers accomplishing all three realistically. First wife Jessica also travels in time, eventually believing a warning from Ruella who knows she will be murdered by drowning. Here, Ruth Rylward moved Jessica from her frivolous honeymoon to a smart wife – but this time not married to Mr Wells. The details of evil doings are all revealed in a confession by Reece who, as an old man, unburdens himself in writing – the paper falling into a reluctant Phoebe’s hands. Thanks to the time travelling, she is able to warn Ruella of her imminent death by being thrown over the hotel balcony.

The comic input to the play is in the safe hands of Ian Evans as the hotel’s Security Manager whose delivery, facial and body language caused laughter at almost every entrance. His anguish at keeping patient when life in his hotel turned curious and his obsequiousness to both wives, whom he meets in his own different time frames, was a delight.

Based on an original by Osmanie Ellas set designer Alan Matthews positioned the fatally-attractive cupboard centre stage, with its gauze front to allow time-transferring lighting and occupant to be seen. The adjoining bathroom was a triumph with smart white hardware, and the envisaged hotel corridor worked well too.

Under the perspicacious direction of Kerry Heywood, this cast of six had worked hard to perfect their characterisations and their delivery, culminating in a production delivering both laughter and trepidation to an appreciative audience.”

 

 

 

Hedda Gabler | 19th – 24th February 2018

Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen.  A version by Christopher Hampton.

Directed by Alice Heather

Just married. Bored already. The beautiful and headstrong Hedda longs to be free.

Hedda and the ineffectual academic George Tesman have just returned from their honeymoon and the relationship is already in trouble.

Her one hope of escaping is that Tesman has expectations of promotion and he becomes the outlet for her ambitions.

But when those ambitions are threatened Hedda comes up with a plan to remove the obstacles, and have some excitement in the process.  If everyone will play along nicely then everything will work out fine.

But Hedda is not the only one with a manipulative streak…

Cast
Hedda Gabler                         Sophia Danes
George Tesman                      Richard Stewart
Thea Elvsted                           Laura Gamble
Ellert Lovborg                        Rob Chambers
Miss Juliane Tesman            Lynn Rushby
Judge Brack                             Wayne Sheridan
Berte                                          Janet Clark

Backstage
Director                               Alice Heather
Set Design                          Andrew Heather
Lighting Design                  Jon Lewis
Sound Design                     Abel Fernandez
Stage Manager                   Ann Herbert
Asst Stage Manager            Andrew Heather
Stage Director                     John Heather
Set construction                 Andrew Heather, T62 members
Set Décor                            Adrian Pope
Technical Programming     Ian James, Jon Lewis
Technical Rigging               Members of T62
Technical Operators            Chloe Belgrave, James Quinn
Stage Crew                         Gilly Swinge
Costumes                            Margaret Uzzell, Diana Quinn
Make-Up & Hair                 Rachel Cormican, Jean Golder, Christine Lever, Penny Vetterlein
Properties                           Andrew Heather, Ann Herbert, Patricia Melluish
Technical Support              Andrew Herbert
Rehearsal Prompt               Hannah Crisp
House Manager                   John Heather
Refreshments                      Lynne Craig & T62 members
Raffle                                 Hester Fernee
Box Office                          Nina James
Programme Editor               John Guttridge
Poster & Programme Design     Graham Copeland

Production photos:

 

Rehearsal photos:

 

 

Comfort and Joy | 4th – 9th December 2017

img_8739Comfort and Joy by Mike Harding

Directed by Sandie Campbell

Set over a three-day period from 23rd to 25th December.

Goff has volunteered, yet again, to dress up as Santa and hand out presents at the old folk’s home and someone has stolen his jacket and trousers.  Helen has brought her dog Trumpton (who is aptly named) for the Christmas holidays.

Kathy is coming to stay for Christmas and is bringing her ‘friend’ Crispin and her two cats because the cattery is closed (as the lady who runs it dropped dead in the Bran tub in Santa’s grotto).

Fiona (Goff’s daughter) and Jimmy are home from Australia for the first time in 30 years and Goff has not forgiven her for running off to Australia with Jimmy and never returning tools he borrowed.

Martin has bought an enormous Christmas tree ‘off the back of a lorry’ and has invited the new neighbours Monica and Chapman in for a drink, who turn out to be barking mad.

Margaret is the peacemaker doing her best to hold it all together, but when the dog runs off with the turkey she loses the plot.

Presents are exchanged, none of which are appropriately thought out, charades are played with quite a bit of cheating. The alcohol flows, tongues are loosened and buried resentments rear their ugly heads.  All in all…a traditional family Christmas!

Cast

Margaret          Pauline Wathen
Martin              Howard James
Goff                    Bernard Harriss
Helen                 Laura Gamble
Fiona                  Sharon Hawkes
Jimmy               John Randoll
Kathy                 Diane Carters
Crispin               Paul Newton
Monica              Christine Lever
Chapman          Tony Skeggs
Pat                      Jan Stockwell
Hughie               Ian Evans

Backstage
Director                                      Sandie Campbell
Set Design                                  Alan Matthews
Lighting Design                          Andrew Herbert
Sound Design                             Ivan Buckle
Stage Manager                           Maggie Matthews
Asst Stage Manager                    Alan Matthews
Stage Director                            John Heather
Set construction                         John Heather, T62 members
Set Décor                                    Adrian Pope & T62 members
Technical Programming             Jon Lewis, Ian James
Technical Rigging                      Members of T62
Technical Operators                   Chloe Belgrave, James Quinn
Costumes                                   Val Polydorou and the cast
Properties                                  Gilly Swinge, Tina Stancombe
Prompt                                       Nina James, Janet Clark
Technical Support                      Ian James, Abel Fernandez
House Manager                          John Heather
Refreshments                             Lynne Craig and T62 members
Raffle                                         Sandie Campbell
Box Office                                  Margaret Uzzell
Programme Editor                      John Guttridge
Poster & Programme Design     Graham Copeland
“Alien” Voices                            Ailbe Lonergan, Anna Philpotts, Emma Wilson, Harley Baron
Carol Singers                             Tivs Raventheran, Subanu Raventheran, Zannette Paulsen, Zuzette Paulsen, T62 Members

 

Neighbourhood Watch | 25th – 30th September 2017

Neighbourhood Watch by Alan Ayckbourn - posterNeighbourhood Watch by Alan Ayckbourn

Middle-aged brother and sister Martin and Hilda have just moved into a new development called Bluebell Hill. They are looking forward to leading a quiet, Christian life, but feel they should at least introduce themselves to their neighbours by means of a little housewarming gathering.

Whilst waiting for their guests to arrive, their peace is shattered by a young trespasser and that peace will never return after Monty, their beloved garden gnome, is set upon.

The resultant well-intentioned scheme for a safer community is jeopardised by Martin’s burgeoning romance with Bluebell resident Amy (married to Gareth), who has just finished an affair with Martin and Hilda’s next door neighbour Luther, husband of Magda. This has surprising outcomes for all concerned.

Who could have thought that a young trespasser taking a shortcut through a garden could start a chain of events just as shocking as any crime drama seen on television?

Cast

Martin Massie            Rob Chambers
Hilda Massie               Margaret Glen
Luther Bradley           Geoff Dillon
Magda Bradley           Nomi Bailey
Gareth Janner            Richard Stewart
Amy Janner                Rachel Cormican
Rod Trusser                Richard Toynton
Dorothy Doggett        Margaret Hey

Backstage
Director                                      Nikki Packham
Set Design                                 Alan Matthews
Lighting Design                          Jon Lewis
Sound Design                             Ian James
Stage Manager                           John Oakenfull
Asst Stage Manager                   Nikki Packham
Fight Director                             Emma Christmas
Stage Director                            John Heather
Set construction                         Alan Matthews
Technical Programming             Jon Lewis, Ian James
Technical Operators                   Chloe Belgrave, James Quinn
Properties                                   Ann Herbert, Audrey Knighton
Rehearsal Prompt                       Audrey Knighton
Gnome Makers                            Jan Greenhough, Mike Greenhough
House Manager                           John Heather
Refreshments                              Stuart Scott
Raffle                                          Sandie Campbell
Box Office                                   Nina James
Programme Editor                       John Guttridge
Poster & Programme Design      Graham Copeland

 

Nell Gwynn | 3rd – 8th July 2017

Nell GwynnNell Gwynn by Jessica Swale

It’s 1660 and the Puritans have run away with their drab grey tails between their legs. Charles II has exploded onto the scene with a love of all things loud, French and sexy. And at Drury Lane, a young Nell Gwynn is selling oranges for sixpence. Little does she know who’s watching.

Nell Gwynn charts the rise of an unlikely heroine, from her roots in Coal Yard Alley to her success as Britain’s most celebrated actress and her hard-won place in the heart of the king. But at a time when women are second-class citizens, can her charm and spirit protect her from the dangers of the court? And at what cost?

Bawdy, playfully anachronistic with plenty of innuendo, this is highly entertaining new play – fresh from the West End.

Cast:
Nell Gwynn – Emma Wickenden
Rose Gwynn – Alice Heather
Nancy – Lynn Rushby
Old Ma Gywnn – Janet Clark
Queen Catherine – Sue Hicks
Lady Castlemaine – Sue Bailey
Louise de Keroualle – Sue Bailey
King Charles II – Mark Storey
Charles Hart – Paul Newton
Thomas Killigrew – Pieter Swinge
Edward Kynaston – Ian Evans
John Drydon – Charles Langdon
Lord Arlington – Alec Raemers
Other characters played by members of the cast

Backstage
Director                                  Patricia Melluish
Choreographer                      Catherine Jarvie
Asst Director                          Sue Smith
Set Design                             Alan Matthews
Lighting Design                     Jon Lewis
Sound Design                        Ian James, Ivan Buckle
Stage Manager                     Sue Hicks
Asst Stage Manager              Janet Clark
Accompanist                         Petra Hajduchova
Rehearsal Pianist                  Louise Dunsby
Stage Director                       John Heather
Set construction                   Alan Matthews, Ian Saunders, Andrew Heather, T62 members
Set Décor                             Adrian Pope
Technical Programming      Jon Lewis
Technical Rigging                 Members of T62
Technical Operators             Chloe Belgrave, James Quinn
Costumes                              T62 Wardrobe Team
Make-Up & Hair                    Jean Golder, Christine Lever, Penny Vetterlein, Rachel Cormican, Jenny Jones
Properties                              Lynne Craig
Prompt                                  Audrey Knighton
Technical Support                 Andrew Herbert
House Manager                     John Heather
Refreshments                       Ann Herbert, Nina James
Raffle                                   Sandie Campbell
Box Office                            Gilly Swinge
Programme Editor               John Guttridge
Poster & Programme Design     Graham Copeland

My Mother Said I Never Should | 1st – 6th May 2017

My Mother Said I Never ShouldMy Mother Said I Never Should by Charlotte Keatley

“My Mother said, I never should
Play with the gypsies in the wood.
If I did, she would say;
‘Naughty girl to disobey”

Secrets and lies! “My Mother Said I Never Should” explores the complex and difficult relationships between mothers and daughters.  Spanning 1940 to 1987, though in non-linear fashion, the lives of four generations of women develop.  Their loves, expectation and choices are set against the huge social changes of the twentieth century.  Unmarried Jacky gives birth to Rosie, unable to cope she hands Rosie over to her mother Margaret. Rosie is brought up believing Margaret is her mother, while Jackie is her older sister.  The play looks at the consequences of this secret and the emotional repercussions.

This was a change from the originally published production The Women

Cast
Doris              Lynn Rushby
Margaret       Christine Lever
Jackie             Janet Sharrock
Rosie             Nomi Bailey

Backstage
Director                                      Lorraine Spenceley
Set Design                                 Alan Matthews
Lighting Design                         Andrew Herbert
Sound Design                            Ian James
Stage Manager                           Maggie Matthews
Asst Stage Manager                   Alan Matthews
Stage Director                           John Heather
Set construction                        Alan Matthews, Ian Saunders, T62 members
Set Décor                                  Adrian Pope
Technical Programming            Jon Lewis
Technical Rigging                     Members of T62
Technical Operators                  Chloe Belgrave, James Quinn, Ivan Buckle
Stage Crew                                Stephen Harper
Costumes                                   Margaret Uzzell and team
Radio Announcer                       Paul Newton
Prompt                                       Nina James, Janet Clark
Technical Support                     Andrew Herbert
House Manager                         John Heather
Refreshments                            Ann Herbert
Raffle                                         Sandie Campbell
Box Office                                  Margaret Uzzell
Programme Editor                      John Guttridge
Poster & Programme Design     Graham Copeland

 

 

The 39 Steps | 13th – 18th February 2017

39-steps-poster-4The 39 Steps by John Buchan, adapted by Patrick Barlow.                                

Based on the book and the 1935 Alfred Hitchcock film, The 39 Steps is a splendid, nee dashingly handsome mix of comedy, adventure, mystery and thriller.

Richard Hannay is a bored London gentleman whose life suddenly becomes infinitely more interesting when a woman is murdered in his apartment. Who is she? Why did she take refuge with him? And what are the mysterious 39 Steps?

Framed for her murder, Hannay flees London for Scotland on a mission to find out the answers to these and other questions. Along the way he comes across an assortment of unusual and mysterious characters and is reluctantly accompanied by prim Pamela, who inadvertently finds herself handcuffed to Hannay. Will they save Britain from a den of devious spies?

A small cast plays countless characters in this wonderfully inventive and gripping comedy about an ordinary man on an extraordinarily entertaining adventure.

The 39 Steps by arrangement with Edward Snape for Fiery Angel Limited, John Buchan and Alfred Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps, adapted by Patrick Barlow from an original concept by Simon Corble and Nobby Dimon.

Cast
Richard Hannay………………………Geoff Dillon
Annabella/Pamela/Margaret……Alice Heather
‘Actors of many faces’………………Robert Hall, Emma Wickenden

Backstage
Director………………………………………..Paul Marshall
Stage Director & ASM…………….. Alan Matthews
Set Designer………………………….. Alan Matthews
Lighting Designer………………….. Andrew Herbert
Sound Designer……………………… Ivan Buckle
Projection Designer……………….. Jon Lewis
Set Construction……………………. Giles Elliot, Andrew Heather, Alan Matthews, Maggie Matthews, Ian Saunders
Set décor………………………………. Adrian Pope
Stage Manager……………………… Maggie Matthews
Lighting Operators……………….. Chloe Belgrave, James Quinn
Stage crew……………………………. Andrew Heather, Nina James
Technical support…………………. Ian James
Props…………………………………… Ann Herbert
Wardrobe…………………………….. Margaret Uzzell and the Wardrobe Team
Make up & hair…………………….. Jean Golder, Christine Lever
Prompt………………………………… Myrna Delecata

House Manager…………………….. John Heather
Refreshments…………………………Ann Herbert
Raffle…………………………………… Sandie Campbell
Box Office……………………………. Gillian Swinge
Programme Editor……………….. John Guttridge
Poster/programme design…….. Graham Copeland

The show

 

 

Backstage

 

In rehearsal

Show photos by Steve Challis.  Backstage & Rehearsal by Andrew Herbert

The 39 Steps review by John Oakenfull & Raymond Langford Jones:                                                         

“Many of the virtues of good community theatre were evident in Theatre 62’s February production of Patrick Barlow’s take on The 39 Steps. Much love and care had gone into making the show by its director, versatile cast – and a strong supporting design, technical and backstage team. Given the demands Barlow makes, it was a considerable achievement.

John Buchan’s Richard Hannay was to the WW1 generation what Ian Fleming’s James Bond was to its post-WW2 counterparts. His writing style, in the first-person, is matter-of-fact and clubby, nicely counterpointing Hannay’s deeds of daring-do

Matter-of-fact and clubby, however, don’t lead to exciting drama. Unsurprisingly, the various film versions turned the story into a suspenseful schoolboy adventure that drew you in on its own terms. Yet Barlow, whilst basing his play largely on the Hitchcock picture – Hitchcock being the master of suspense – and allowing it to move cinematically from one location to the next, has replaced the danger with stylish farce.  He even refers to the actors who play the many smaller roles as ‘clowns’ – changed here to ‘actors of many faces’

Which doesn’t make it wrong – just different. After all, the job of the theatre is to entertain, and let’s face it, a decade of satisfied customers in the West End must say something about its stage-worthiness. And the play certainly contains much, clever, well-paced dialogue. One, therefore, has to judge it on its own terms.

Director Paul Marshall always has an assured touch with light comedy. He had meticulously plotted the production; with every movement carefully choreographed, each piece of business finely tuned in rehearsed to coordinate, as appropriate, with scenery, props, sound and lighting. Nevertheless, so much detail can be treacherous for everyone on stage, if not perfected within an inch of its life. There can never be a moment when the momentum loses spontaneity of pace and attack. It’s all about energy. Occasionally at Theatre 62 one could see the machinery working, when it should glide effortlessly with total precision.

Designed to be staged using specific theatrical conventions, Hannay is played by the same actor throughout, with the three principal women’s roles given to one actor; whilst all the other roles are covered by just two performers both changing character – sometimes onstage – in the same scene. It was interesting that they were both originally male actors, but making one female here worked too, and also balanced the cast – a nice touch!

Much of the humour arises from stage business, such as the complicated ‘changing of hats’ in a scene involving quick-fire dialogue with two actors doubling for four characters – which was especially funny – as was the way Hannay extricated himself from beneath a dead woman’s body. Another hilarious moment was when the cast climbed out through the croft window.  Some jokes, however, went on a second or two longer than they should have done, though usually executed as specified in the text.

Despite the heavy demand for stage effects, with the luxury of more time, the director might have considered using light and sound to drive the action forward rather than letting it ‘react’ to the cast at certain points. Alan and Maggie Matthews had, however, brilliantly coordinated and choreographed the stage management of the production. Congratulations, to their well-drilled assistants also! The props were amazing – it’s only in retrospect one realises how many there were!

Alan Matthew’s simple black and white basic set and Adrian Pope’s décor overall worked well. All the solid prop doors etc brought on and off were excellent. There were some sections where it might have been even more effective having even less scenery for the actors to move. It’s a question of keeping to the adopted convention.

Andrew Herbert’s lighting design supported the production nicely. A small point, but in a perfect world, it might also have added to the period feel if the scenes of Edinburgh and the Highlands had been backed by projections of grainy black and white period postcards.

With regard to Ivan Buckle’s sound design, the use of Vivian Ellis’s nostalgic 1938 piece Coronation Scot and other musical extracts were spot-on, though some other recordings might more precisely have reflected the period.  Overall wardrobe had done a very good job though, again, a few costumes slightly missed the ‘30s period look. In a pastiche, they could be more exaggerated.

Geoff Dillon totally captured Hannay’s English ex-public-school, former-military-officer type, and his opening speech set the tone of the play and his character well; a nicely judged and stylish performance that never tipped over into caricature. Alice Heather provided three very well-contrasting ‘love interests’: the doomed, German Annabelle, the Scottish Margaret – and Pamela, the girl Hannay eventually falls for, and coped with the accents admirably.

Robert Hall and Emma Wickenden playing the many other roles, had developed a good stage partnership, looked good and worked very well together. They probably had the hardest jobs of all four actors, capturing and projecting each characterisation clearly, without dropping a cue or prop.

The piece depends much on technique and timing and is enormously challenging. The important thing is for all the cast to convey their enthusiasm to the audience without looking as if they are having fun. The sillier the scene, the more gravitas the acting requires. We’ve all seen productions where the cast was indulging itself at our expense – but not here.

On the Wednesday night, the burghers of West Wickham were having a high old time. Indeed, there was much to enjoy. Although the show would have been even more effective with a tad more attack and sharper awareness of period it was, nonetheless, very well done.”

The 39 Steps review by Peter Steptoe:

“This is the third time I have seen this play and I now look forward to what each director and his cast can add to amuse us. Theatre 62’s Director Paul Marshall and his cast were no exception and gave us nearly two hours of hilarity. It also seemed to me that this type of parody was peculiarly British and other countries might view it simply as rubbish.

To take the screen play of an Alfred Hitchcock film thriller based on a 1915 novel by John Buchan, starring Robert Donat and Madeleine Carroll and turn it into a pastiche with a cast of four, three of whom played many parts with matching accents was great fun. This production had tremendous pace, excellent sound effects, and was brilliantly lighted, with imaginative props and sets.

Geoff Dillon as Richard Hannay was the epitome of the sort of chap that Sapper of Bulldog Drummond fame described as carrying on the little business of Empire, and his resourcefulness showed through. Alice Heather as the padlocked heroine to the hero did the stocking removal scene quite beautifully and maintained an understandable Scottish accent when playing Margaret the Crofter’s wife despite purporting to come from Glasgow.

The highest praise must go to Robert Hall and Emma Wickenden whose lightening quick costume changes complete with respective accents was a pleasure to behold. They were sexless in the sense that both played male or female with equal facility. I delighted in Emma’s Scottish Landlady and as the professor, and Robert as the professor’s wife.  His dying speech as the memory man was a tour de force in the field of memory. They both played extremely well together as rain coated villains, incompetent policemen, commercial travellers, news vendors, railway porters and sundry other characters too numerous to mention.

Theatre 62 did, indeed give us a night to remember.”