Burtonwood AMADS received 7 Nominations for NODA North West Awards, District 8:
BEST DRAMA: There Goes The Bride
BEST SUPPORTING MALE: Brian Maffitt (Gerald Drimmond)
BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE : Jayne Harnick ( Polly Perkins)
BEST SUPORTING FEMALE : Amy Jones ( Judy Westerby)
BEST ARTISTIC DIRECTION: Judith Maffitt ( Director)
BEST MALE LEAD: Rob Minjoot (Timothy Westerby) – WINNER
BEST FEMALE LEAD : Leigh Nash ( Ursula)
There Goes the Bride, a funny farce by Ray Cooney & John Chapman which is so well written and each character equally considered as a pivotal role within the piece. On the day of his daughter’s wedding, father of the bride, Timothy Westerby, over worked and stressed, suffers many injuries to the head, which result in the appearance of his latest advert campaign, a 1920s flapper girl named Polly, whom only he can see causes so much confusion and havoc. This ably sets the play up for some of the most farcical theatre written.
This is a piece of great difficulty; each character needs to be 100% secure in both staging and dialogue as everything in the script is intertwined and the comedy purely relies on all the lines being in correc6t sequin. The cast in this production were very confident and rehearsed which eluded to every joke dropping perfectly. This cannot be achieved overnight, it is a skill which is learned over time with teamwork, trust and personal ability all factoring in to produce something to this standard. It was apparent that this cast worked extremely well together and the casting was spot on. It is a big requirement that each cast member gives the impression that they indeed cannot see Polly the flapper, this was executed so well. I almost started to believe she wasn’t there myself.
Director Judith Maffitt, achieved great pace in this piece and most notably the staging was excellent, this is certainly a piece where the director has to work hard to consider each entrance exit as it is such a busy show, at no point was there a blocking issue or where we could not follow exactly what was occurring. A job very well done.
Leigh Nash brought Ursula Westerby, the mother of the bride to the fore of this performance, a very relaxed and natural performer who has a great gift for comedy and never over-playing. She gave a very grounded performance and throughout most of the play she is the voice of reason until it becomes apparent she is out of her depth.
Amy Jones as Judy Westerby, the bride, although this role has very little to say within the piece, this didn’t stop Amy Jones from giving a great performance, funny and excited to start, apprehensive and confused towards the end, she portrayed a beautiful bride. Wonderful and engaging facial expressions which kept the role relevant throughout.
Brian Maffitt as the Gerald Drimmond, the father-in -law to Timothy, offered some of the best comedy during the evening. A man of great skill, a force to be reckoned in the comedic department. He looked very much at home on the stage. He worked so well with other cast members, his scenes with Timothy were just a hoot and it was clear where all the confusion was coming from.
Lavinia Lunt was a hoot Daphne Drimmond, wife to Gerald, playing her as a straight faced, matter of fact lady, which caused some much confusion. Her interludes were welcomed in her scenes as she just had a great face which was dead pan and a great contrast to that of her husbands. The northern accent worked very well giving more vibrancy to the script.
Timothy Westerby, Rob Minjoot, what a role to play and what a great interpretation we received. Having to cope with the physical demands of two different characters, along with having some very wordy script, Rob excelled in this role. A role that required different body language for each character he got it spot- on, without being over stated, this kept the whole piece very real which I feel made it even funnier that it intended to be. A hit with the audience, we could have watched him titter around the stage giving outburst of 1920’s songs all evening. The hilarity of this role and the confusion it causes is the focal point of the play and this piece would not have worked if the role of Timothy was not perfected in its delivery, I am so happy to say it was played excellently.
John Hickey played down to earth Bill Shorter, well. This character needed more projection throughout but we had a wonderful collection of facial expressions from John. Comic timing was good and he worked well with other cast members.
Jayne Harnick gave Polly the most alluring presence, although she didn’t have much to say she made up for this in her acting skills, great reactions to the scenes and a certain amount if devilment in her eyes. Very well played.
Dave Bolitho as Charles Babcock, I felt sorry for this character as he does not appear until the second act, throughout the play we are given a great deal of information about this character through other characters opinions of him so there was a certain expectation of what he would be like if we ever met him, on this occasion Dave had a great grip on this role and lived up to the character alluded to by the rest of the cast. A great role embellished with a fantastic Australian accent.
Costumes were appropriate, we were treated to the most hilarious wardrobe malfunction which involved a set of braces, to the audiences delight this couldn’t be rectified, it was a hoot. This did not affect the cast in the slightest.
The staging for this piece is clever and it only demands one set throughout, no scene changes which allows the pace to remain stable and to provide great continuity for the difficult script. A good set, with three exiting doors and a set of double doors dead centre at the rear, provided enough to cause much confusion and create a very busy stage.
Lighting was basic but there are no special requirements in this piece and what was provided was very satisfactory. Projection of the players was very good, they made allowance for the eruptions from the audience and waited for the laughter to die down before moving on. This again showed the skill and understanding of those on stage.
Overall, this is a terrific play but testing and demanding on any cast. I thoroughly enjoyed this production and felt the quality of performance was of a very good standard. I look forward to my return visit for your upcoming pantomime.
Thank you for your warm welcome and hospitality on the night.