Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime
Venue : Woodrush High School
Date : May 1973
Genre : ComedyGenre : Period Play
Society enhances reputation
Tickets Adults 25p Childs 15p
May 2nd - 5th 1973
Wythall Dramatic Society's first venture into the world of costume comedy was so competently delivered, one could be forgiven for thinking the company was long established in such a demanding game.
The society's performance of "Lord Arthur Saville's Crime" was both polished and imaginative - moving the first night audience out of the titter stage to enthusiastic guffaws.
Though much of the credit must go to Philip Lett for his superb handling of Lord arturs aspiring mentor, Baines the Butler. It was essentially aa team performance with no weak links in the chain.
The script needed good timing-and got it. No one could afford to stammer or stumble since the play could easily have degenerated into a laborious chore. Situation comedy needs immediate reactions and anticipation between players of each others next move.
And the society rose splendidly to the occasion under Roger Booth's direction, milking the last ounce of comedy from Constance Cox's play, based on an oscar wilde's short story.
If there was a dropped line, I didn't notice it. I, like the rest of the audience, was too intent on following the next move.
The play revolves around Lord Arthur's hilarious attempts to bump off a suitable victim in order to satisfy the fate predicted for him by a rascally cheiromantist-fortune teller to you and me.
The plot is further complicated by the fact that Arthur has to do the dastardly deed before his impending marriage in a few days time, so that his wedded bliss will not be marred. He is helped in his task by the faithful Baines and herr Winkelkopf, his self-appointed president of anarchists.
Philip Lett subtly displays the reverence of a jeeves in serving his master and combines it with all the eloquence and perfectly timed wit of TV's Julian Orchard.
Maclolm Parker as Lord Arthur played his "straight -man". He suceeded in a difficult role as a bumbling aristocrat easily led and eager to win his fair maid. The will which he sets about his deadlt task, and his gloomy moments as he is constantly thawted, gave many a laugh.
Sybil parr plays his dragon of a prospective mother-in-Law with convincing vindictivness,and Jack Parramore as his uncle bought some nice touches of absent mindedness.
Frank Winter gave credibility to the fanatical blow-up king, and Gerry Solomon's cheiromantist lent an air of mystery and Evil to the whole proceedings.
Quality supporting roles were taken by Marguerite plumb, Estelle Shutkever, Pam Davey and Kay Parker.
The lavish and imaginative set was designed by Ken Gibbons.
In all a good evenings entertainment which lived up to all the hard work that went into it's preparation.
If the Boyfriend the society's next production in Novemeber, is equally well executed, the company can only enhance it's reputation.
D.J.T, Redditch Indicator & Alcester Chronicle May 4. 1973