Theatre Review - A Chorus of Disapproval – Lowther Pavilion, Lytham St. Anne’s - Wednesday 17th July 2013
PUBLISHED: 20:04 18 July 2013 | UPDATED: 20:04 18 July 2013
The Anonymous Players are in fine voice for their rendition of Alan Ayckbourn’s A Chorus of Disapproval.
Words by Rob Gemmell
Ayckbourn’s play is cleverly written. In reality it is a play within a play, or musical within a play if you will. It is the story of a man called Guy Jones who joins an operatics group in order to help ease with the loss of his wife. The group are putting on a version of “The Beggar’s Opera” which is being directed by Dafydd Ap Llewellyn. Guy becomes a popular newcomer to the group and is all too pleased to help out when he is offered a small part, but he gradually and on occasions, mistakenly gets himself involved in all sorts of situations which unintentionally sees his popularity soar particularly with the ladies.
As promises are made and favours exchanged, Guy finds his involvement in the play becoming more significant until he finds himself with the lead role, but friends have become enemies along the way.
There are fantastic individual performances which, when combined with each other, culminate into a thoroughly entertaining and enjoyable production. Andy Cooke excels with his role as Guy Jones playing him with a clever balance of shyness and trepidation. The character of Guy does have an unhappy past and you can really feel for the character as he unwittingly gets himself involved in all manner of situations, but does so without harm or intention to upset. Jeff Redfern puts in a strong, comedic performance as the director, Dafydd in a vibrant, intricate role. Anna Cross plays a wonderfully fiery Bridget Baines who incorporates herself into the role well in all guises.
There is also both strong male and female support with some very funny comedic scenes played by Liz Antcliffe, Kathy Gemmell, Ann Dawson, Chris Slack, Roger Prutton and Bob Gemmell. The play incorporates musical moments from The Beggars Opera within the storyline and the plot is played out using pieces of music. Assisted by Cliff Antcliffe on piano, there were some truly wonderful vocal talents on display from Louise Davies, David Chalk and Bernadette Scully whose beautifully angelic voice really carried over the theatre.
Di Prutton directs a wonderful piece really centring on the ‘play-within-a-play’ theme cleverly using on stage costume changes and set hands to add to the realism. The blend and mixture of colours and lights really add depth and impact to the performance. The cast and crew really pull together to make this production funny, entertaining and not to be missed.
The Anonymous Players are incredibly in their 80th year of performing and this is their 257th Production. They maybe amateur in name, but they are professional in nature.
The play runs from Thursday 18th July – Saturday 20th July at 7:30pm.
Please visit the website for the Lowther Pavilion for more information.
For more information regarding the Anonymous Players you can visit their website.