Venue : Woodrush High School
Date : February 1978
Genre : ComedyGenre : Play
THE FIRST production in Wythall Dramatic Society's 21st anniversary year is to be Neil Simon's superb comic trilogy; "Plaza Suite". This wry triple-bill is liberally laced with Simon's notoriously sharp wit and deft characterisation.
The group - under the direction of Mike Beamish - have decided to adopt American accents for the production - a decision which has been the downfall of many amateur groups in the past.
But as Estelle Shutkever - one of the production's leading ladies – explained, "The very essence of the play is American and without the accent the naturalness of the piece would be at risk.
"The play is a difficult one to do in many ways and we are working hard on the accents," said Estelle.
"A lot of people have seen the film starring Walter Matthau. It was on television recently. I don't know whether that, fact is good or bad.”
"I think it could put people off, but at the same time it could make them curious to see it on stage. We will have to see."
Estelle went on to say that the group, with its 25 members, had gone through a rough patch in the last few years.
It had come about when various key members of the group moved from the area leaving great 'gaping holes in the structure of the society.
"We had relied on more than we realised," remarked Estelle. "But we have a new committee now and we have got enthusiasm back. We are right back on form."
Other members of the cast of "Plaza Suit” - a play which revolves around three separate incidents which take place in a New York hotel - include Gerry Solomon Jack Parramore, Val Archer and Sybil Parr.
The production will run for three nights at Woodrush High School, Wythall from Wednesday February 22 to Saturday, February 25 - no performance Thursday. All performances will begin at 8 p .m. and tickets available at the door.
Unknown Reviewer, Local Newspaper 1978
The Wythall Dramatic Society provided an evening of laughter with these plays by Neil Simon, all set in the same suite in, all set the Plaza Hotel, New York.
Under the direction on of Michael Beamish, the plays are all well-paced with the right touches of light and shade to keep the audience happily laughing at tensely silent.
Val Archer takes the part of Karen Nash, the wife celebrating her wedding anniversary with zest and humour, and Gerry Solomon is fine as her husband, who admits to an affair with his secretary, played by Willa Hislop.
Estelle Shutkever gives an excellent performance as the breathless star-struck Muriel Tate, easily seduced by a very smooth Gerry Solomon in the role of the persuasive film producer.
In the last play Sybil Carr and Jack Paramore combine vigorously as the irate parents trying to extract their daughter from the bathroom in time for her wedding.
All great fun, the plays run until Saturday.
Sue Howell, Local Newspaper 1978