Outside Edge - performed March 1990

By Richard Harris

Performed with the kind permission of

Director - Denis Murfitt


(in order of appearance)

Miriam Viv Wheatley
Roger Ron Colbourne
Bob Bernie Brindley
Dennis Nigel Lister
Maggie Alison Brett
Kevin Chris Mason
Ginnie Claire Morris
Alex Adrian Bolton
Sharon Heather Steel

Production Team

Jude Hussey, Jenney Rollings, Bruce Emeny, MAurice Barber, Dennis Murfitt, Greg Garrad, Bill Chapman, Alan LAurie, Alison Brett, Val Taylor, Jenny Glayzer, Chris Wheeler, Patience Ling, Viv Wheatley, Gill Baxter.

The Play

The landscape for Outside Edge is village cricket, played to a low standard but in deadly earnest by its white-flannelled protagonists. The principal focus, however, is on marital harmony, and two relationships in particular: Roger Dervish, cricket club captain, with his mousy wife Miriam, and their social inferiors Kevin, a slob, and his zesty wife Maggie. Author Richard Harris drew out these four characters to perfection, and his script - laden with awkwardness, pregnant pauses, sly asides, digs and despatches - brilliantly encapsulated the repressed discomfort of middle-class middle-England.


This play is a highly entertaining and affectionate look at club cricket that nevertheless manages to get under the skin of one of the most sacred cows of the British way of life. In the process it reveals all the minor traumas and crises in the lives of the players and their womenfolk, as well as the excitements, petty jealousies and rivalries in the game itself.
The "pavilion" on this small stage houses most essentials, and the use of levels makes the quite frequent something of a mystery. The painted legend above, and most of the pantomime trophy shield at the back of the tiny bar are not the standard usual with this company. But the outfield trickle of cricket noises filtering through is very atmospheric.
Viv Wheatly's long suffering Miriam, wistfully yearns for something more from her preoccupied husband than the perfunctory "Love you Mim!" She is often quite touching as well as gritted-teeth funny. Ron Colbourne is suitably harassed as the captain of the third rate team, whose sole purpose in life is to get the game on and get it won! Bernie Brindley's brownale voice is just right for the husband tied by past marital ties to confrontation with his present spouse, and Claire Morris's sharply-wounded Ginnie brings real pathos as well as immediate presence to her difficult part. Nigel Lister catches the comic sadness of the womanising Mr Fixit character of Dennis with the smooth glibness of an upmarket car salesman, in a first-class study. Adrian Bolton's clipped speech as the arrogant and disdainful Alex points up the supercilious solicitor stereotype nicely. Alison Brett gives an original slant to the forceful, screwdriver-wielding Maggie, despite the handicap of a far to skinny coat. She is often very amusing in her dealings with her "little Kev" - played by the too-well-spoken Chris Mason. Heather Steel looks pretty enough as the fish-out-of-water Sharon, but never really suggests her place of origin or social class.
A good deal of innuendo of the loaded lines goes begging, and there is a discernible muddle towards the end, but generally this is a production that will appeal to all, whether cricket enthusiast or not.
Jimmy James

Actors pitch a good yarn on stage

ACTION in the clubhouse far outweighs the action on the cricket field in the Manifest Theatreís latest production, Outside Edge. This comedy, by Richard Harris, deals with the cricketers and their relationships off the pitch and the castís sterling efforts had the audience bowled over. Actors in this Manningtree-based company breezed through the scenes and were quick to pick up on cues, making the most of comic punch line. Only one of two fluffed lines marred an otherwise first rate performance.

Special mention must go to Viv Wheatley for her brilliant portrayal of Miriam, wife of he cricket team captain Roger. She played the bossy, do-gooder character to a tee and was careful not to over characterise the part.
And Alison Brett also played an excellent Maggy, the good-hearted if somewhat brash of team player Kevin. Ron Colbourne must also be congratulated for his efforts as captain Roger whose obvious priorities were with the team and not his poor doormat wife.

Comment must also be made about the set and lighting which all helped to create the atmosphere of a summer Saturday afternoon down at the cricket club. Outside Edge is produced and directed by Dennis Murfitt.

Photo Shoot

(Chris, Ron, Bernie, Nigel, Adrian)

(Clare, Alison, Viv, Heather)