IT’S common for actors to fluff their lines and forget their cues all wrapped up in a performance as wooden as Geppetto’s Pinocchio (writes Trevor Baxter).
You don’t, however, expect the full repertoire of prompts, prop failures and production disasters from the Saddleworth Players.
But pop along to the Millgate Theatre in Delph this week for a calamitous murder mystery and you will witness the full horror show played out in front of your eyes!
Things though aren’t quite what they seem. And while it’s easy to be incompetent; it’s another skill entirely to play incompetency.
And the Players do a fantastic job of putting ham-dram into amateur dramatics with their adaptation of the Farndale Murder Mystery (January 27-February 3) by David McGillvray and Walter Zerlin jnr.
Or to give this laugh out loud farce it’s full title: ‘The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen’s Guild Dramatic Society Murder Mystery.”
Comedian Ernie Wise’s immortal line: ‘The play wot I wrote’ springs to mind as you watch the five fantastic cast members bungle and bumble their way through the ‘Farndale Murder Mystery.’
The beauty of it is you are non the wiser if there are any genuine gaffes or memory losses because of the daftness of the action.
Scenery collapses, characters enter and exit at the wrong places and amnesia regularly sets in to great comic effect.
And it wouldn’t be the Townswomen’s Guild without a raffle-midway through the show!
The play, directed by Eileen Southard, is a perfect antidote for any lingering winter blues.
David Plowright and Luke Settle add to the mirth and silliness due to impeccable timing with lighting and sound respectively.
But the real stars are the five members playing the plethora of roles: Alayne Whitworth, June Holmes, Verity Mann, Loraine Reynolds and John Tanner.
John’s Inspector O’Reilly could easily be the half brother of Peter Sellers’ Inspector Clouseau as he tries to solve the killings at Checkmate Manor.
The whole evening was a treat from start to finish. So, take this as a recommendation and catch a performance during its weekly run.
For bookings phone 01457 874644 or visit www.saddleworthplayers.org.uk