Well, the members of Peaslake Players certainly know how to put on a show to raise our spirits in bleak February. On three evenings at the beginning of last month, capacity audiences in the Memorial Hall were treated to a selection of witty and amusing sketches, songs and routines; and it was great to see so many familiar faces along with some newer ones taking to the stage. This was the first revue for 14 years that Peter Hilton (director and writer of much of the original material) and Ted Horton (producer, lights and writer) had put on and, as Peter said, “the one thing that hasn’t changed is the vast array of talent that Peaslake Players can call upon and yet again, we’ve been able to assemble a fabulous cast of performers and backstage crew”.
Mike Sutton and Mark Taylor were in 'Monty Python ladies' mode, introducing acts from their iPad which included the Peaslake Phobia Workshop (aagh!), news and public service announcements with a twist, Bobby and Sarah Knott reinventing the TV game show ‘Mr and Mrs’ (with Kim and Di Ferguson the ‘happy’ couple) and, in another sketch, Sarah making any parents watching wondering whether they would ever leave their mother babysitting again…
We were treated to what really happens when hopefuls turn up to audition for a new James Bond – any amongst Peter Elliott, Ted, Ian Allen and Jenny Taylor would fit the bill admirably! And how many members of local ladies’ reading groups would secretly prefer the consumption of food and drink to take precedence over discussion of a book at their meetings? Certainly that was the case for Amanda Gage, Jane Lewis, Charlie Richards and Suzanne Wood, who gave stalwart Katie Kinnes a torrid time.
For a touch of nostalgia, 'Last of the Summer Wine' featured the two David's (Roe and Williams), and a tribute act to The Who performed by Kim, Peter E and David R in their rendering of ‘My Generation’ no doubt sparked memories of the original for many audience members. Two double acts from Ted and Peter H (arguing about baseball players’ names), Sarah Trotman and Peter H doing battle whilst singing an operatic duet, Bobby wrestling with answering the question before last in 'Mastermind', and Sarah T desperately trying to coach her quartet of backing singers in 'California Dreamin' all provided much hilarity. With all of the cast performing a multitude of roles, we were left marvelling at the varied talents that there are indeed amongst the Players.
The Two Ronnies were the inspiration for several sketches and at the end, the whole cast, accompanied by Fiona Lascaris on piano, joined in singing one of their naughtier songs – a fitting finale to a brilliant show which brought much-needed enjoyment to us all.Grateful thanks to everyone involved - including of course, the backstage team of Peter Gellatly (Stage Manager), Ray Glasstone (Sound), John Brosnan (Lighting), and Carol Glasstone and Jane Lewis (Stage Assistants) - and may there not be such a long gap before the next revue. Meanwhile, keep on carrying on, Peaslake!