Venue : Redditch Palace Theatre
Date : February 1991
Genre : Comedy
Group for all Seasons
The Wythall Theatre Group gave a good account of themselves in Alan Ayckbourn’s light weight and undemanding Seasons Greeting at the Palace Theatre, Redditch.
Undemanding for the audience, that is, as all on stage worked very hard to deliver a sparking evening’s entertainment. Set in the Bunker household, which teamed with assorted house guests, both playwright and actors captured deftly the boredom and fractiousness of the Yule-tide ritual.
Outstand among the many fine performances were Jack Parramore’s muttering arch-bigot Harvey, who spent a large part of the play ‘watching’ a non-existent TV set which seemed to be suspended somewhere above the orchestra pit, his range of facial expressions cleverly mirroring whatever he could ‘see’.
Angela Smith as the put upon and frustrated Belinda, and Val Archer as the scatty Phyllis were both excellent.
John Parkes as the perennial festive bore deserves a mention for the hilarious ghastliness of his children’s puppet show which involved some tricky timing and formed the play’s funniest scene.
I do urge you to give this group’s future productions a try. You just can’t beat live entertainment for good value and that ‘seat of your pants’ feel, and this company are providing some of the best around.
Brenda Whipp, Unknown Publication
Professional Polish from Amateur Cast
THANK goodness Wythall Theatre Group is now performing at the Palace Theatre – it means more people can enjoy this extremely talented bunch of amateur actors and actresses.
It has been ages since I laughed so much at an amateur production but this one had me and the rest of the audience rolling in the aisles.
Admittedly much of the credit goes to playwright Alan Ayckbourn for his witty lines but the cast really mad the most of these and milked the humour for all it was worth.
There were the relatives who got horribly drunk and mad a fool of themselves, the telly addict, the overworked cook, the ‘entertainer’ and the party bores determined not to enjoy themselves.
Three of the cast in particular turned in hilarious performances. John Parkes was marvellous as the lovable eccentric ‘puppeteer’ Bernard. Angela Smith had us in stitches as bored wife Belinda making amorous advanced towards bachelor Clive. While Jack Parramore really mad the most of his role as Harvey, the witty outspoken elderly relative.
Jane Tyler, Advertiser, 7 March 1991
Daffy and Amusing Fiasco
Strong and amusingly daffy performances by Angela Smith (Belinda) and Val Archer (Phyllis) pointed the way to better things.
A pleasing evening would be enhanced by more snap and generally greater projection into Mary Allen’s production.
An the intended first-night fiasco under the Christmas tree lost impact because the sound and the electrics were so far behind the action.
John Slim, Birmingham Evening Mail