By Nigel Holloway


What do you do when one of your members is a prolific playwright? Well you put on their productions - it would be rude not to! Nigel Holloway had published several of his plays before we thought it was about time we put on a full production of one. We had already done productions of Ripping Off Angels , Big Idea  and  Prima Donna, as pod casts and Big Idea Live! was a full production but we did it as a radio play with the script in our hands á la Round The Horne but this time it was a proper play - no scripts in hand that was for sure! The production should have been easy; we are a Gilbert And Sullivan Society - to a degree. We have done the show so we all know it, don't we??? HMS Pinafore that is? Well, no, is the answer!

The cast

Anyway, Nigel has a talent for writing, he has taken his vast experience of amateur dramatics, his inbuilt encyclopaedic knowledge of G&S (if in doubt, read about Christmas Carol) and his flare for the comic and what you have is a farce set round Gilbert & Sullivan's HMS Pinafore. Those who have experience Ripping Off Angels, Big Idea and Prima Donna, know the Off The Wall Theatre Company well. At this point it is worth pointing out that Nigel has been part of many companies over the years and the experiences he writes about are not based on real companies or experiences per se but are an amalgam and do not reflect Concept Players at all!!! If they did, we would put a stop to it we can assure it!

So the play starts with the main protagonists arriving for rehearsals, followed by the news that there is going to be a new director, then the realisation, by Barney anyway, that the new director is an old flame (and him a married man) - and from that point mayhem ensures - the new director is your worst nightmare and the cast plot revenge. No point in describing a farce - you need to see it to be believe it but it was great fun and we had wonderful feedback from the audience.

There were fantastic performances from Paul as the hapless Barney - his scene with Sharon, played with aplomb by Rhiannon, was one straight out of Hollywood - or is it shmollywood - more ham  than you'd find at a butchers! Kevin Welch had great turn as the protagonist Richard. Janet as Aggie and Fiona as Christine were ample foils for his dubious ways. Howard, as the Jack the Chairman, and Liz, as Anne, were great in their worried attempts at bring the Company to heel and Sarah-Jane as Caroline, the new director, was just this side of Genghis Khan! Mention also has to be made of the hapless Robert played by Steve Davis and the ever loveable Doris was played wonderfully by Cheryl again. And we mustn't forget the forgetful Raymond played by Kevin Morgan - a very dodgy Sir Joseph indeed! We had great fun with this play, thanks to Janet, who put in so much effort in directing it, and to Nigel for writing it - well done to you both, what a team!



Barney dieing or is he?


Another foray into the world of the Off The Wall Theatre Company - which we are reassured by the author, bares no resemblance to Concept Players (but does owe a lot to many years in various amateur dramatics societies!).