By Ken Ludwig

 

NODA Review by Kevin Welch

 

Since their arrival on the South Wales amateur scene nine years ago, Concept Players have grown in size, reputation and quality. Whilst the majority of their productions have been innovatively staged musicals they have also staged a number of comedy plays, such as their latest production, Lend me a Tenor, by Ken Ludwig, at the Paget Rooms, Penarth. Director Clare Davies, surpassed herself and produced what I consider to be, the best overall production the group has staged. The pace was incredibly fast, yet retained the expressions and emphasis needed to keep the piece funny. The split set was well designed and the acting first class. Nigel Holloway as Tito, the world famous Italian tenor, was as big as the theatre he was playing to, while Steve Davies made Henry, the self-centred opera's producer, look as though he would physically explode from stress. If it's steam you want, the shenanigans involving Fiona Thomas, Max's wife, Maggie and Jo Herco, the leading lady Diana were enough to get a corpses pulse racing - without being distasteful. Paul Buckle, as Max, long suffering employee of the producer, constantly switched between insecurity, sheer confidence and blind panic. Ruairidh MacLeod-Lyon, the opera loving Bellhop, and Lisa Sadie as Julia, the Chair of the Opera Guild, were both hysterical as the comedy characters who can't take "No" for an answer. And don't get caught on the wrong side of Cath Blyth; as fiery Maria, Tito's fed up wife, she could teach Mike Tyson a thing or two about chewing people's ears off! Over the last several years, Concept Players have mastered the musical and conquered the comedy. My only wish is that they continue to stretch their talents.

 

Originally published in Spring 2004. 

 

 

The first act

 

"The split set was well designed and the acting first class. Nigel Holloway as Tito, the world famous Italian tenor, was as big as the theatre he was playing to"

 

NODA