Manifest Theatre Group Manifest Theatre Group Manifest Theatre Group
2 Oxford Road
Manningtree
Essex CO11 1BP
Tel: 01206 391309
info@manifesttheatre.co.uk
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Look Who's Talking - performed May 1989

By Derek Benfield

Performed with the kind permission of Samuel French (London)

Director - Dennis Murfitt

Cast

(in order of appearance)

Sheila Val Taylor
Brian David Jefferies
Andrew Simon Colbourne
Carole Alison Brett
Jane Viv Wheatley

Production Team

Jude Hussey, Jenny Rollings, Bruce Emeny, Maurice Barber, Dennis Murfitt, Greg Garrad, Alison Brett, Val Taylor, Gill Baxter, Patience Ling, Viv Wheatley, and other volunteers not mentioned.

The Play

Reviews

It is a typical Sunday morning in the wilds of Hertfordshire. Husband is pottering around the garden, wife is busy preparing the midday meal. The tranquillity is shattered when, unexpectedly, twin threats to the connubial bliss arrive in the shape of a handsome young man and a nubile young woman.
Derek Benfield has woven a tangled web of confusions and cross-purposes of the sort that Ayckbourn and Richard Harris churn out in their sleep infinitely more effectively – but a uniformly competent cast played up the misunderstanding for far more than they are worth to entertain a strangely thin first-night audience.

Val Taylor’s well-preserved Sheila has just the right sort of technique for this kind of stuff, and the timing is immaculate as she strives to cope with the consequences of a scarcely remembered amorous peccadillo. Simon Colborne is equally deft in his every-increasing desperation to stave of the consequences of an ill-considered episode at his office party. David Jefferies is personable and relaxed at the male fly in the ointment, and Alison Brett’s feather-brained Carole, all pouting lips and opulent bosom, prattle away amusingly at her preoccupations with food and sex. Viv Wheatley’s twinkling Jane comes late, but immediately takes hold of the character and the situation with her grasp of the state of play and the glass of alcohol in her dainty hand.

The set is first-rate in its carefully-ironed rustic charm and Dennis Murfitt’s direction ensures that the piece moves along smartly when so required and lingers when necessary. The opening of the second act, for instance, with its covert looks and embarrassed silences is a lovely example of genuine theatrical impact. The question remain however as to why a society, deservedly known for choosing plays of merit and substance, suddenly seems to be satisfied with material that is patently inferior.
Jimmy James

Photo Shoot

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