Sunday, 24 April 2016

THE 'BATS' CRITICS REPORT ON "THE LATE EDWINA BLACK"  a Great success Congratulations to all concerned.
St Joseph’s Players. Leigh
The Late Edwina Black
Set in 1985, William Dinner and William Morum’s period drama keeps you on the edge of your seat as at every twist and turn there is a further obstacle to encounter as widower Gregory Black plans his new life with his long term mistress following the seemingly mysterious death of his devoted and beloved wife.
What starts off as a run of the mill scenario, where the funeral is being planned, we soon see that following the visit from the Police that all is not well – and this is where we start to become transfixed with the story as we work out who is who and who has motives to carry out the unmentionable.
As Ellen, the ever faithful maid to the deceased, Angela Grime is convincing as she defends her employers memory by deflecting any derogatory comments with conscientious concern.
Keith Brindley enters under the guise of a funeral attendant only to later reveal he is in fact a Detective– adding the first twist in this intriguing story. With appropriate stature and deliberate delivery this part was played just right as the audience almost resented him coming up with yet another twist, blowing our conclusions well and truly out of the water.
This drama requires actors who can provide the necessary pathos and depth of characterisation. With Clare Nash and Paul Jameson we had this in spades. These two were well cast as they almost worked as one in plotting, allying suspicion about each other and finally understanding the stark truth of how their deceit has finally torn them apart.
Paul Jameson’s portrayal of the grieving widow-come-philanderer Gregory Black was a controlled and measured performance and he balances between apparent grief and frustration at not being able to take the money and run. As a struggling school teacher he was hoping that the inheritance of his wife’s fortune was the answer to his life of luxury – will he cash in or lose out?
Deep in the web of deceit, Clare Nash gives a faultless performance as Elizabeth,the devoted companion of the late Edwina. Tormented by the perceived presence of Edwina, Elizabeth is cautious and suspicious. The ability of this actress to become the character seems to come naturally and the result sees the audience transfixed in its believability – an excellent performance.
The cast of 4 worked well together and with strong direction by Pauline Nevell they provided the necessary tension required to bring the story to life.
Paul Cohen