Concept players present Rumours

By Neil Simon

We searched quite a while for a play before we found Rumours and we are so glad we did. This little gem from Neil Simon is pithy and funny. It was Laura's first choice and her first time out as a Director though she had a good grounding in being involved as DSM in many different productions. Her eye for detail and guiding hand ensured we got the best out of all the silly situations. Also as the play was set in the 1980s, so she relished the period details from the genuine 1980s magazines to the dresses, hair and make up - all that and the Birdy Dance!

Paul and Cat as Ken and ChrisThe night starts off unusually for a farce with the action already well ramped up, as the main catalyst for the night, the shooting of Charlie, has already occurred. So it starts with the frenetic antics of Ken and Chris played by Paul Buckle and Cat Bailie trying to start the convoluted cover-up. Chris' frustration at her husband was very apparent and his well meaning antics included going spectacularly deaf. Paul's comic timing and Cat's drunken portrayal were perfect. They were soon joined by Len and Claire, played by Ruairidh MacLeod-Lyon and Jess Player, who had just been in an accident. The rather petulant whiplash survivor Len was to eventually become the hero of the hour whilst Jess' Claire cattily commented on everyone and their frocks. However, they rekindled their love eventually.

Cookie had a knack with plastic bags!The next couple to join the fray were Cookie and Earnest. Ellie, with a great Swedish accent, played the somewhat annoying Cookie to perfection whilst her cool husband Earnest, played by Laurence Clarke, slowly crumbled as the play progressed.

Stephen Hopkins and Emma Sands, both new to Concept Players, made up the final couple, Glenn and Cassie. Him, an aspiring politician and her, the suspicious wife with a liking for new age crystals.  So with all these characters the audience was guaranteed of a night of mishaps and funny one-liners. It was only in the second half that Aileen Rahilly and Carys Huges arrived as the sensible WPCs, that some order was restored - just about.

The cast of RumoursThe set played a large part in the proceedings as it was huge - 3.5 meters tall and had 6 doors - the bane of any set construction. However, it looked amazing and was put up and then down, and then up again brilliantly by the cast and crew. True team work! The 1980s feel was augmented by great costumes sourced by the Production Team and sound was chosen and managed by the McMahon duo, with Jessica taking the helm each night in her first Concept Technical role. More to follow we hope!

Finally, a thank you to the audiences who came to see a play they did not know. The laughter not only showed the genius of Neil Simon but also what a perfect marriage his plays continue to be for Concept Players.


The warring Cassie and Glenn 


Aileen and Carys as the disbelieving coppers

Ken and the gang

Ruairidh being set upon by the amorous Cassie, played by Emma Sands, whilst his wife, Claire, played by Jess Player, prepares to protect him