11th May 2012
CREWKERNE: Moonwalking their way to success
By Alex Alexander
DON’T mention the “C-word”. We all know what it means.
And the working assumption of the “Cheshire Cats” comedy is that almost everyone knows someone who has been touched by “it”.
The play, written by Gail Young, is an amusing tale of one gang of “girls” from Cheshire preparing for and then taking part in the London MoonWalk.
It’s gonna be a great “girlie” weekend! Or is it?
For the uninitiated, the MoonWalk really is a fund-raising “powerwalk” of either half- or full-marathon length.
Sponsorship money raised goes to breast cancer research and awareness.
Luridly-decorated bras are always the order of the day (or night, because the walk takes place overnight, with most walkers completing the course well after sunrise).
And all that, plus a train journey to London, cleverly happens within the space of a couple of hours on a dimly-lit stage adorned with the most minimal of props.
But such is the power of good theatre that less is definitely more in this production by the Crewkerne United Dramatic and Operatic Society.
A clever soundscape, a slow-motion finish scene, subtle use of lighting, and dramatic effect all make it easy to believe you’re right there with the gang enjoying the fun, the tension — and the bitching — as the girls strut their stuff in aid of… you know: “C”.
As the drama unfolds, it becomes evident that this is a tale of discoveries.
The characters are either “finding” themselves afresh, or discovering hidden and surprising depths among their fellow-MoonWalkers.
There’s “out-of-control, control-freak” Hilary who has a touching Road to Damascus change of heart along the way.
“We’re not in this for fun. We’re in it to win!” she bossily insists early on.
Another team member, divorced Vicky, is somewhat publicly discovering new romance.
But who is this tutu-wearing hunk with a beard that she brings along to (and thus nearly ruins) the girls’ weekend away?
And why is he so keen to make a fool of himself?
Is it for the sake of Vicky, the new love in his life; or is there another reason?
Then there’s awkward, feeble, fainting Maggie who is always nervously laughing.
And what about man-hating Yvonne? Will men, for her, always be lazy, despicable, and useless?
All is eventually revealed and resolved in a series of unexpected “Aha!” moments.
Cheshire Cats is a comedy with turns, if not twists.
It’s also a modern morality tale reflecting and reinforcing a deep, unwritten, self-evident, contemporary truth.
And that is: We’re all touched by, and we’re all united when it come to… you know… the big “C” - Charity.
• Cheshire Cats is on this week at the Victoria Hall, Crewkerne, at 7.30pm from Wednesday to Saturday, May 9-12th. Tickets, priced at £6.50 (concessions, £6) are available at the Town Hall, or ring (01460) 74380.
• The cast of the CUDOS production of “Cheshire Cats” are (in order of appearance): Vicky: Angie Eason; Maggie: Sarah Elliott; Hilary: Ann Brolly; Siobhan: Helen Wickens; Yvonne: Chantelle Soutarr; Andrew: Richard Walters; Aerobics instructor: Lucy Perry; Marshall 1&3 and Policeman: Miles Browning; Marshall 2&4: Rosa Atkinson; Ethel: Amanda Perry; Madge: Heidi Scott; Handsome drunk: Ian Scott
The production team are: Director: Dendy Harris; Production assistant: Wendy Elliott; Stage Manager: Kerry Peters; Stage crew: Katy Lyons, Lisa Gage, Ian Scott; Set construction: Bodgit, Scarper & Co; Costume design: Beth Dyer; Props: Cast and crew; Prompt: Sheena Wilkins; Lights: Mike Best, Dave Sach
Sound: Dave Brolly; Front of House: Members and friends
PICTURE 1: GIRLS’ TALK - The team discuss tactics (and tops). But for Hilary (seated), it’s a big waste of time
PICTURE 2: STRETCH - The girls limber-up before their big walk
PICTURE 3: STERLING STEWARDS - “Old bags” Ethel (Amanda Perry) and Madge (Heidi Scott) provide an amusing interlude
PICTURE 4: JUMP TO IT - Aerobics instructor (Lucy Perry) gets the gang swinging and stepping
There are no comments yet. Be the first to add one below.
Add new comment
The code you entered was incorrect, please try again
Return to news headlines