Company of Women
Last night I watched In the Company of Women at Davenham Theatre and thoroughly enjoyed the evening. If you like stories with a bit of bite and that make you think, then do come along before it closes this Saturday 19th March - only two nights left ! To book, see our website at http://www.davenhamplayers.co.uk/next-production/. Doors open 7:30pm Show at 8:00pm.
There were three entirely different plays, starting off with Kelly Cowley in Rise and Shine. The plot provides some good laughs as a somewhat confused mother suddenly awakes late and tries to work out what she has to do with the baby before rushing off to work. Seeing how her thought processes gradually try to come together as one problem leads to another is a reminder, perhaps, of a blurry morning following a party the night before - and so well portrayed.
Next up was Laura Bason, new to Davenham, who plays an 18 year old Lucy Fuller in Where do Little Birds go? Lucy gets involved with underworld life in Whitechapel in the company of people such as the infamous Kray twins. Those were the days back in the 60s, weren't they, with people like Jack "The Hat" McVitie, Frank "The Mad Axeman" Mitchell and so on, plus Ronnie and Reggie of course. Lucy takes us from her time as an innocent barmaid at Winston's night club, yearning for a job singing in a stage musical to when, as the tale darkens, she is kidnapped by Ronnie and Reggie Kray and locked up with an escaped murderer! Laura moves the story on gradually and skilfully to its inevitable conclusion.
Lastly, Medea recalls the characters in the Greek tragedy, with a chorus-like group of four actresses (Denise Barry, Vanessa Duffy, Sue Elliot and Andrea Scott ) supporting Jo Outram in the title role. If you've ever wondered why Medea did what she did (and I'm not going to spoil it for you by saying what!) this play goes a long way to explain why. This was a marvellous ensemble piece - just watch the reactions of the 'chorus' as Medea explains her situation and how she intends to change it.
And if you don't believe how entertaining the evening was, here is a review by Alan Lowe who also saw last night's show.....
What used to be called the Tin Shed Theatre Company is now the Urban Trendz Theatre Company but that is all that has changed, it still performs in Davenham and is still full of very talented people.
On this occasion they gave us three different plays for our money, "Where do little birds go?" by Camilla Whitehill which revolved around the Kray twins and two plays by Dario Fo and Franca Rame, "Rise and Shine" a lovely little piece about simply getting up in the morning if you are a wife and young mother and "Medea" which was about how men mistreat their wives and go off with younger models.
Of course my descriptions of the plays do not do them full justice, The Whitehill play was brilliantly dark and very compelling and Laura Elisabeth Bason was excellent in the part. Doing an hour long monologue is not easy, doing it this well is simply remarkable.
The other two plays were only 20 minutes long but Kelly Cowley as "Mother" in "Rise and Shine" managed to convey all the angst of being a young wife and mother and needing to get herself off to work. There were plenty of laughs in this short play. "Medea" was a different kettle of fish. Based on the Euripides play it concerns a scorned wife who takes revenge on the husband who has left her for a young princess by killing her own children. Her reasoning was that men had persuaded women that their role in life was to be used and by this awful act she would prove that she would not suffer that fate without taking reprisals. Jo Outram took the part of Medea and played it to perfection showing that Medea was not the mad women the others thought her to be but a reasoning woman who saw her awful act as a perfectly logical way to pay back her husband for his infidelity. Jo was ably supported by Denise Barry, Vanessa Duffy, Sue Elliot and Andrea Scott who, whilst having few lines enhanced the scene with their facial and bodily reactions to what they were hearing.
Apparently Director Ed Green assembled his cast then found plays to suit; unusual to say the least but it did work really well. As I am always saying no play can go on without the crew backstage and in Lee Morgan, Graham Hough, Arthur Jones, Chris and Tina Sproston this production was blessed with a very good one.
So well done Urban Trendz Theatre for giving myself and your audience a great night out, I shall be back for your next production and I have no doubt so will anyone else lucky enough to have caught this show.