In Jolly Sinister Jape are, from left, Steve and Ros White, Heather Johnson in body suit and Terry Pearson. Picture by Robin Crossley.
STAGE REVIEWIT WAS a pity the audience at Newchurch Drama Group’s latest production was so small — there was good value for money from two short comedy thrillers as well as giggles during the half-time raffle.
The double bill of one-act plays, called Easter Follies, began well with Bang, You’re Dead.
Set in the home of Lydia and Theo Spink, a planned burglary with Marcus, her boyfriend, goes horribly wrong for everyone but Theo’s secretary, played by Pat Williamson.
She ends up with the promise of marriage to her boss following a botched double-cross, in which Lydia is shot by Marcus, played convincingly by Reuben Loake, to be with his lover Theo.
There were more laughs for the second part of the evening, in A Jolly Sinister Jape.
It did not matter this pastiche, set in the Twenties and delivered in a kind of Enid Blyton style, had a plot that defied description. The double entendres and awful jokes were rattled off thick and fast, leaving the audience in stitches.
Terry Pearson gave a strong performance as toffee-nosed Biffy Trubshaw. He was one of four pretentious people trapped in his mysterious mansion on a stormy night, with all fearing a killer was on the loose.
Ros White, as Ophelia Le Bobo, Biffy’s wife, together with Steve White as Lord Stubbs, were also first rate.
But the biggest surprise of all was saved until Fatty Parsons, brilliantly played by Heather Johnson, revealed she wasn’t quite so weighty after all. Her entrance, in a massive body suit, was so funny one man in the audience laughed so loud it almost perforated my eardrum.
As for the raffle, the audience thought it was hilarious front-of-house volunteers were the ones with many of the winning tickets.