A quick look at Ayckbourn’s Role Play

Robyn and I are just back from Club 71’s Role Play. We had a thoroughly enjoyable night, and not just because we were sitting with the Blaxlands, the Birds, Dean, Cassie and several other theatre stalwarts. It was also because it was such a good production of the play.

Brian Wark has been able to coax great performances out of the cast. Rebecca Wall as Julie-Ann was comically neurotic, Katie Wright as the cockney dancer Paige gave the part some depth and Lee Mayne somehow managed to give himself an unexpected physical presence as the ex-boxer Mickey. Brian’s direction brought out the agony behind the funny moments, too.

Look, I great ensemble performance and a fun play. And it still has two weeks to run. Worth a look.


Season’s Greetings – Ayckbourn’s ‘Perfect’ Christmas

Here is Mr Ayckbournʼs recipe for the ʻperfectʼ family Christmas. Ingredients:

untitled>Take three dysfunctional married couples, (two with five children between them! who are present in the house but never seen or heard). Neville and Belinda, Eddie and Pattie and Bernard and Phyllis (who really enjoys a drink).

Add a young, attractive, charismatic novelist, Clive, invited by the virginal, spinster sister of Belinda, Nevilleʼs wife.

Combine with an unbelievably inappropriate, bigoted, emotionally violent, racist ʻuncleʼ, who watches TV throughout Christmas……Uncle Harvey.

Include Belindaʼs less than fulfilled sister……Rachel, and copious amounts of ʻChristmas cheerʼ.

Method: Combine all the ingredients, allow them to come together and form a potentially catastrophic explosive mixture……….gradually all the adults will revert to childlike behaviour.

This is a play about a family Christmas you want to hope you would hope to never have but you can never be quite certain…..can you?

The jokes are continuous as these exquisitely drawn middle class English characters reveal their worst traits. The laughter is so infectious you have to be careful not to miss something!

Under the tree you’ll find a fine cast of NTC actors, with a number of delightful and experienced fresh faces, directed by Brian Randell. Decorations in a setting designed and built by Matthew Lockyer. Donʼt miss this wonderful play which will put you in a fabulous mood for Christmas.

Christmas party bookings attract very favourable ticket prices depending on the numbers.

Cast: Peter Murray, Tracey Ebbetts, Sandra Monk, Michael Smythe, Patrick Campbell, Heidi Bush, Ben Martin, Pearl Nunn and Alex Jacobs.

As Samuel Becket bleakly observed…….”nothing is as funny as other peopleʼs unhappiness”.

The Newcastle Theatre Company season runs from Saturday December 6th to 20th.

Matinees: Sunday December 7th and Saturday 13th at 2.00 p.m.
Details of performance days and times and BOOKINGS! from the NTC Box Office (phone 4952 4958….Monday to Friday 3-6 p.m.)

Online booking also encouraged