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LATEST PRODUCTION REVIEW! - “Make Way For Lucia”
05/31/2013 - 19:30
“With memories of the 1980s TV series Mapp and Lucia still in my mind, I went along to this production with pleasurable anticipation and had a thoroughly entertaining evening.
The story is set in the fictional village of Tilling – based on Rye in Sussex – where Queen Bee Miss Mapp has had her nose put out by Lucia, who has taken a house in the village for the summer and is fast becoming Queen Bee herself. Miss Mapp will not give in without a fight, and there seems to be little she will not do to regain her crown – but she has met her match in Lucia.
“It’s always a good sign when the set looks the part, and we really might have been in a 1930s drawing room, so realistic was it. The costumes too were absolutely spot-on and added enormously to the overall effect. In fact this production, superbly directed by Tim Schuler, had everything going for it, not least an extremely accomplished cast, and the village rivalries, social one-upmanship and sheer bitchiness were brilliantly conveyed.
“There could not have been a better choice for the upper-middle class (but not quite all she claims to be) social butterfly Mrs Emmeline Lucas (the Lucia of the title) than Janet West, who absolutely commanded the stage. I loved too Sally Whyte’s dowdy, trouble-making spinster Miss Mapp. The two of them sparked off each other beautifully and were a joy to watch.
“John West gave a superb performance as the womanising Major Benjamin Flint, and his ‘drunken rant’ well deserved the applause it drew. I was less sure at first about Steven Reynolds’ portrayal of the very camp Georgie Pillson as he did appear to be slightly more of a caricature than a character, but I have to admit that he quickly grew on me and I rather think that the character is something of a caricature anyway. I was also extremely impressed with Marilyn Conway’s Grosvenor, the housekeeper, whose stern countenance and straight back marked her out immediately as an efficient and capable woman who would stand no nonsense, while Rita McDermott’s characterisation of the bubbly Godiva Plaistow was a delight.
“There were also excellent portrayals in smaller roles from June Buxton (Mrs Wyse), Peter Ansell (Mr Wyse), Steve Russell (Rev. Kenneth Bartlett), Julie Lax (Mrs Bartlett) and Victor White (Signor Cortese), all of whom, as with the larger roles, completely made the parts their own.”
Linda Kirkman (Scene One)