Technology can be a funny old thing, though sometimes it is simply a case of bringing the wrong tools for the job and thus the promised photos and trailer for the upcoming ‘All the Great Books (abridged)’ gets knocked a little further down the schedule. Oh for want of a cable with the right attachment.
Anyway, while waiting for that I spent a little time ferreting more deeply round the files for my next retrospective and have stumbled as far back as March 2005 and our production of Emlyn Williams ‘Night Must Fall’ directed by Pat Williams. Set in Essex, this was a classic mystery signposted with twists and turns and touches of tension culminating in an act of brutal murder by a young villain in the guise of loyal worker for the mistress of the house. In no particular order I remember suspended windows and maybe even a door, Alan Cumbers blondifying for his portrayal of Danny the antagonist, Joan in her wheelchair, Annie’s debut performance, my own plus fours and Gill’s delight at the romantic lead. But for me, as I reflect on it now, it was one of the small number of plays in the Matchbox canon that didn’t quite work. It is difficult to put a finger on it now all these years down the line. Maybe it was an underwhelming sense of menace, maybe it was the casting which didn’t necessarily play upon the strengths of the group or maybe it was just the play itself but, for me, it just didn’t click. That’s not to say I didn’t have a good time with it; it was a lot of fun and I recall fondly it being one of the first plays where I learnt my lines somewhat effortlessly and forewent The Hortensio Curve tm (as I have said before, I really must tell you about it sometime). And I am not the biggest fan of this kind of play as my opinions of last summer’s ‘Murder Deferred’ show. I know it was well received by many of our audience members, it’s just not up there with the classics in my opinion. It certainly doesn’t make it unworthy of a revisitation on these pages however and looking at the small collection of photos above did bring back some pleasant memories and also the greatest mystery in this piece: who the devil is the young lady playing the maid Dora? I can’t for the life of me remember. She appeared in but one of our productions as far as I recall but, bereft of a programme, I name her. There will be a prize for anyone who can furnish me with that answer.
And on that note I’m back off to find my dongle. Have a great weekend, take care and I’ll be back with lots of stuff on ‘All the Great Books (abridged)’ next week.