Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Cribbies: Act One

How about that for a set! I loved the Cribbies set, designed and built by Alan Sutton; it was simple and functional, but highly effective. Alan was also our stage manager and, despite being new to the role, he performed his duties expertly throughout, always with a winning smile and the least amount of fuss. He was ably assisted by Myles Green who has an excellent curtain manner!

Carolyn Crum as Cynthia was an excellent leading lady with assurance and charisma; both calming and energising the other cast members at all the right moments. This is her opening scene in which she explains that what she is most looking forward to over her summer holiday is, "a great rest in the sun and a good read of my Mills and Boon."

The whole family is ready to go; "Hold on tight! We are heading up to Central!" (l-r: Elizabeth/ Amy Perkins; Rob/ Clark Kirkwood; Cynthia/ Carolyn Crum; Alister/ Jordan Woodhouse)

Rob (Clark Kirkwood) isn't so thrilled when his dad, Alf (Nigel Douglas), seems to have a whole list of plans for him to work on the crib while he's down for his holidays. Clark was reluctant to take on the male lead but after much persuasion, we are so grateful he did. He played the part of the kind but put-upon father with sensitivity and intelligence, and also rallied the younger folk into expressing themselves in their roles. Nigel had a million things going on and the busy, forward-thinking, never-resting (dare I say slightly garrulous) character of the grandfather suited him wonderfully.

"I've got plans for a jolly good rest, but I think that Dad's got other ideas."

Constable Ogilvie (Bruce Patton) takes down some particulars - very slowly... Bruce was delightful in this role with precision, clear diction, and a steadfast manner. Wearing the real Constable Oglivie's original uniform, he also looks the part.

Gran (Wink Gillespie) and Cynthia share a moment as they reflect on the old house. Wink made a charming, sentimental, slightly scatty Gran, full of memories and miscommunication. A couple of clues in the text made me think she might be Scottish so we tried her with a Scottish accent and it fit her character beautifully.

Cynthia and Rob indulge in some serious rock 'n' roll dancing. Jo Maglaras was our choreographer extraordinaire, teaching the cast some startlingly effective rock 'n' roll and jive moves, while she herself was several months pregnant. Incidentally, we welcome Isaac Joseph Kosta Maglaras, who was born a couple of weeks before the show opened.

Meanwhile, Alf is still harping on about his plans - "We'll leave the tank where it is, and push out that wall a couple of yards."

Cynthia indulges in some literary escapism...

...and the teenagers (l-r: Sophie/ Sarah Cassidy; Alister/ Jordan Woodhouse; Davey/ Nick Foley) apparently epitomise "what's wrong with Arrowtown at this time of year."

The ladies who are "the heart and soul of the village" (l-r: Mrs Smith/Lorraine Copeland; Mrs Evans/ Shona Blair; Mrs Brown/ Sue Dennis) explain how they "don't want any of those Milkbar Cowboys taking over the Town." Lorraine, Shona and Sue were utterly fabulous with their humour and commitment. They were pivotal to the show and brought their individual characterisation to the roles, fleshing out the characters of the 'three ancient buildings' to present something both entertaining and credible.

Cynthia is still engrossed in her book.

If I Knew You Were Coming I'd Have Baked a Cake - the ladies of the village master the box step.

The girls (Elizabeth/ Amy Perkins; Wendy/ Caitlin Sexton; Sophie/ Sarah Cassidy) share a joke at the boys' expense. They were cheeky, sassy, and fun, with enthusiasm and energy that lit up the stage.

Arrowtown holidays - "Just the same old things: down at the river; up at the village."

Al and Sophie are anxious to Rock Around the Clock.

Gran tries to interest Elizabeth in knitting, but she is more taken with tales of skinny dipping.
"That's the younger generation for you... Just when you get them interested in gooseberries... they buzz off!"

"If you had a choice he'd be your pick, but Lollipop is mine."

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