Straight and Narrow

Venue : Redditch Palace Theatre

Date : May 2000

Genre : Comedy

Director

Dave Wilkins

Director

Peter Round

Assistant Director

Cast

Crew

Tony Goswell

Lighting Design

John Nolan

Set Construction

John Parkes

Assisted by

Peter Round

Stage Manager

Joy Rodgers

Set Dressings

Marcus Bridger

Paintings by

Abby Stonehall

Photography

Crew

Tony Goswell

Lighting Design

John Nolan

Set Construction

John Parkes

Assisted by

Peter Round

Stage Manager

Joy Rodgers

Set Dressings

Marcus Bridger

Paintings by

Abby Stonehall

Photography

Production Gallery

Reviews

Straight and Narrow

Wythall Theatre Company's first show of the Millenium is Jimmie Chinn's West End smash Straight and Narrow, at the Palace Theatre later this month.

Blessed with a superb script and brilliant characters, the plot centres around partners Bob and Jeff and Bob's family, sisters Nona and Lois and their respective husbands Arthur and Bill along with his vitriolic mother, Vera.

The cosy domesticity of Bob and Jeff's life is threatened by a personal crisis in Jeff's life. But will Bob's family prove to be more of a hinderance than a help in resolving the delicate situation? And will Bob be able to tell his seemingly intolerant mother that what she sees as the straight and narrow is not the life for her little boy?

Jimmie Chinn's play is shot through with comic invention and his writing style lises somewhere betwee that of the two Alans, Bennett and Ayckbourn, so expect a great night out.

Unknown, Redditch Standard


Smiles all round after Sparkling Show

Members of the Wythall Theatre Company gave a sparking performance in the sharply written comedy Straight and Narrow at the Palace Theatre.

The Jimmie Chinn play is set on a Saturday afternoon in July in the cosy home of live-in lovers Bob (Tony Lacey) and Jeff (Roger Warren) and is a well-written observation of family life and relationship struggles.

Bob and Jeff's relationship is threatened when Jeff has a crisis over whether he and Bob are too settled and boring, so they go on holiday to Malta to try to patch up their differences.

But the trip goes horribly wrong when Jeff goes sight seeing without Bob and ends up having to spend the night with mysterious Terri, who Bob is convinced is a another man.

If this isn't enough, Bob's sister Nona (Karen Ashley) has been left by her husband Arthur (David Key), his other sister Lors (Anne Cherry) is heavily pregnant and their mother Vera(Estelle Shutkever) seems to be completely unaware the straight and narrow is not the life for her son.

However, it is up to the family to rally round and rescue the situation when Bob and Jeff return not speaking to each other.

Estelle Shutkever stole the show as vitriolic Vera, with great performances by Tony Lacey and Roger Warren,
Anne Cherry and Ted Rodgers as Lois' husband Bill and there were some touching moments.

All of which proved there is more to Straight and Narrow than just comedy

Melina Cannon, Redditch Advertiser


Laughs from Start

Jimmie Chinn's dark-edged comedy finds this excellent company meeting its every challenge with aplomb. There's the mother who doesn't suspect - or does she? - the depth of her son's relationship with his friend Jeff. This gives ample scope for laughs in the first half, but when things go pear-shaped and intense it becomes a very different play after the interval.

Roger Warren (Jeff) and Tony Lacey (Bob) give sparky performances of tremendous merit after Mr Lacey has started the ball rolling with the first of his beautifully assured routines akin to stand-up comedy.

Estelle Shutkever, mistress of the meaningful expression, is a delight as Bob's mother. The controlled chaos at the end of the first act is a joy to behold. Dave Wilkins' highly creditable production ends tomorrow.

John Slim, Birmingham Evening Mail


Wythall Theatre Company is going from strength to strength

Wythall Theatre Company is going from strength to strength after recently sweeping the awards board thank's to members' dramatic efforts....

.... The company went on to further successes by winning seven trophies at Birmingham's Festival of Acting and Musical Entertainment Peripatetic Festival for its production of Straight and Narrow at the Palace Theatre.

.... Paul Hughes, who is also a member of Wythall Theatre Company, said:

'The idea of the festival is to allow full length adult drama and musical productions to be adjudicated during their own performance at the own venue. An adjudicator judges the production during a normal performance given in from of a paying audience."

Estelle Shukever once again won the best actress award, Roger Warren won best actor, Dave Wilkins best direction, John Nolan best set design and Joy Rodgers best set dressing.

The company also won best supporting cast and overall winner at the Birmingham festival.

Wythall Theatre Company's next production will be psychological thriller Blood Money at the Palace Theatre from Friday to Saturday and Wednesday, May 30, until Saturday, June 2.

Melina Cannon, Redditch Advertiser


New Play Puts a Focus on Family

Wythall Theatre Company kicks off its first performance of the year with Straight and Narrow at the Palace Theatre this month.

The play, by Emmerdale television writer Jimmie Chinn, premiered at the West End and has been hailed as a sharp and funny observation of family life.

It centres on partners Bob and Jeff, Bob's family, his sisters Nona and Lois, their husbands Arthur and Bill and his sarcastic mother Vera.

Bob and Jeff's cosy domestic life is threatened when Jeff is faced with a personal crisis but Bob's family may prove to be more a hindrance than a help in resolving the situation.

And will Bob be able to tell his seemingly ignorant mother that the "straight and narrow" is no the life her son chooses to lead?

The play is being directed by Dave Wilkins, who had a success with the company's performance of A Chorus of Disapproval last year.

Tony Lacey and Roger Warren star in the roles of Bob and Jeff, with Estelle Shutkever as Vera, Karan Finnegan and Anne Cherry as Nona and Lois and Ted Rogers and Dave Key as the sisters' husbands.

Member Paul Hughes said: "Rehearsals have been going very well and I think the public will enjoy it. It's about families and how they relate to each other, which is somthing most people will be able to identify with."

"Straight and Narrow is written in a style similar to Alan Ayckbourn's plays in that the audience will be laughing at a situation one minute, then realise just how sad it is."

Melina Cannon, Redditch Advertiser