Production 169 The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen's Guild Dramatic Society Murder

Farndale Murder MysteryBy David McGillivray and Walter Zerlin Jnr

Performed on Thu 8th to Sat 10th July 2004 at The Kilshawe Theatre

 

 

 

 

 

The Cast

The Cast

Gordon David Carter
Felicity Linda Mewes
Audrey Carolyn Acors
Phoebe Reece Mary Kettyle
Thelma Caroline Venner
Margery Faye Rye
Joyce Maureen Mewes

Cast of Farndale Murder MysteryDavid Carter as Gordon, Faye Rye as Margery & Caroline Venner as Thelma

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Previews/Reviews

Previews/Reviews

The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen's Guild Dramatic Society Murder Mystery

Caroline Venner as Thelma, Linda Mewes as Felicity & Carolyn Acors as Audrey

This is the first review of the Players made by the National Operatic and Dramatic Association (NODA) since they became members a few months ago. Unfortunately Sylvia Blogg, who is the local regional representative, has recently been in hospital and was unable to accept the Player’s invitation. I drew the short straw and came along to the Saturday performance with my wife Pat. I always feel that when a group puts on one of the many Farndale plays! There should be a health warning to the unsuspecting audience. Certainly there were some initially embarrassed members in the audience who were unsure whether or not they were to endure an excruciating amateur performance when the lights went down for the start of the show. Well they did go down then they came up, then they went down. Then the curtains opened on to an empty stage. The audience then waited for something to happen and waited and waited, shifted in their seats, beginning to suspect their worst fears. Then the picture fell off the wall. From then on it was one riotous event after another. This was the first Farndale that the Players had attempted in their 49nbspyears existence. I suspect that they will be seriously considering doing others, if the standard that they displayed in producing this one was to be a marker. The play gives the directing and production teams much scope to exploit the multiplicity of stage mistakes etc that the two authors sought to portray in their stage directions. Brian Rix once said that farce is one of the hardest forms of drama to pull off as it depends so much on timing, rehearsal and confidence between the actors. I believe that timing, rehearsal and confidence are three of the necessary elements to succeed with a Farndale. I was not disappointed by the Guild.

David Carter as Gordon, Caroline Venner as Thelma & Carolyn Acors as Audrey

The action takes place in Checkmate Manor in or around the 1920’s. It was classic to have the characters in modern dress or at least in anything that took their fancy It would be impossible and also inappropriate to spotlight any one character as everyone was working so well in the team, from Inspector O’Reilly through the multi-faceted other members of the cast. Having enjoyed the evening so much, you will perhaps allow me to mention one or two small points. The hall is clearly not a good sounding board and the high stage and the proscenium do not help in the sound end of the business. We deliberately sat ourselves near the back for this purpose. On the whole diction was good and well heard. However there were some points in the flow (yes I mean flow not show!) when audience applause and/or music and/or location of the characters made it difficult to hear the essential words. The solutions to these problems are, I think clear: improved projection, re‑location of the character, essential pauses to allow the applause to die, lower volume on the music etc. Well that’s the criticisms done and dusted. May I turn to the stage management and properties department and give them full marks for their efforts. Timings of actions, so essential in this type of production, were almost all spot on or off as the case may be. It is very difficult to separate right from wrong with the Farndale series but I think you get my drift. When you have recovered from the shock of your experience with this Farndale I do recommend that you try another. You will find it immensely enjoyable both for you and the audience. Thank you for inviting us both. I do hope that Sylvia has recovered sufficiently to come to your next production. She will I’m sure enjoy it immensely. If you wish to invite us again as well we would be pleased to come. Thank you all for your hospitality and we look forward to benefiting from our shared experiences within the NODA family.

Bob Drywood
NODA SE Area Councillor July 4th 2004

Production Team

Production Team

Directors Christine Eyden & Wayne Pointon
Producers Gail Pointon & Sue Thomas
Technical Director Nick Nettleship
Set Design & Painting Gail Pointon
Set Construction Nick Nettleship, Wayne Pointon & Team
Piano Richard McPherson
Lighting & Sound Peter Skelton & Jonathan Spencer
Costumes Yvette Chen
Props Prue Jamieson, Ann Nettleship & Angela Jeffery
Prompt Duncan Currie
Front of House Mike Martin

Caroline Venner as Thelma & Carolyn Acors as AudreyCaroline Venner as Thelma & Maureen Mewes as Joyce