When it comes to being terrible on stage, the Abbey Theatre Club are terribly good at it!
Their latest production ‘The Haunted Through Lounge And Recessed Dining Nook At Farndale Castle’ is a laugh out loud ridiculous romp of disastrous proportions.
Written by David McGillivray and Walter Zerlin JR and produced by Laura Adam it is continues the story of the hapless (and quite hopeless) ‘Farndale Avenue Townswomen’s Guild Dramatic Society’ and in fact, as the curtain goes up the guild ladies are still struggling to sort out the finale.
Pat McInroy is at once delightfully wooden as the ‘teenage heroine’ June but instantly ferocious as the prima donna Thelma.
Caroline Pennant Jones is the indomitable guild leader Mrs Reece, bitter about ‘The Committee’, but also careening about the stage as the unhinged and speech-impeded Lady Madge Graves.
Hilary Tasker has her Teutonic accent down pat to play guild member Lottie who plays Marty, boyfriend of June, and delightfully mangles not only the English language but any scene that requires coordination!
Philip Penant Jones is very dry as the huffy producer and his mini-rants are most amusing as he tries to keep everything on track.
Heather Osborne channels the Hammer Horror franchise with creepy perfection as Crematia the maid, all occult madness with a side order of tea and sponge fingers.
Brenda Reid plays new mother Jasmine who cannot bear to leave her bairn offstage, even while playing the ill-fated roles of Dr Blood and Rev. Tombs.
Natalia Titaniec’s out-of-sync telephone conversation as Mrs Blood from the orphanage was very funny and her cameo as the harbinger of doom ‘The Old Yokel’ was fantastic, especially as her character ‘Annie’ admitted she wasn’t in costume because she just got there.
Special mention must go to Marjory Robertson who played Arnold Death, solicitor and amateur beauty therapist. Her attempts to tell June about her past, interspersed with handy skin care tips, was a hoot.
All in all, ‘The Haunted Through Lounge And Recessed Dining Nook At Farndale Castle’ is great entertainment and well worth a look. It continues tonight (Friday) and tomorrow. Tickets from 01241 872609.