Players ring the changes

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Midhurst Players ring the changes with a couple of Alan Bennett Talking Heads monologues plus a one-act comedy featuring an over-sized baby.

“The idea is that we will lead the audience from the poignantly-comical through to comedy farce,” says Players chairman David Baker.

“Hopefully the evening will get increasingly hilarious!”

Performances are from Thursday to Saturday, April 14 to 16 at 7.30pm at Midhurst Rother College Easebourne site, with tickets available directly from David on 01730 814419 at £5 for 16 and under, £8 for adults.

The one-act play is Babysitting Calvin by John H Newmeir.

Baby Calvin (acted by an adult) can remember his previous life when he was happily married to Laura.

His great problem now is that he will lose his blissful memories when he reaches his first birthday — or speaks. So he determines not to talk.

But then it turns out that his babysitter is Laura and she has brought along lecherous Bob. Calvin sets about thwarting Bob but can he prevent the unthinkable happening ... without speaking?

“It’s an adult playing a baby,” David explains. “He can’t speak to the other actors, but he can interact with them. We have got Calvin in an oversized playpen with his toys and he is in an oversized baby grow. It turns out that they are easily available on the internet, but our director was then inundated with a lot of other stuff that was rather less desirable!

“It’s actually very very funny. It’s not easy to get a good one-act play and provide something that is interesting and entertaining but doesn’t just seem like a cut-down version at a gallop of a full-sized event.”

Opening the evening will be the Alan Bennett monologues, A Chip In The Sugar and Bed Among The Lentils.

“A Chip In The Sugar you feel is very much informed by Alan Bennett’s relationship with his own mother. It is about Graham, a middle-aged adult living with his 72-year-old mother and threatened by his mother meeting an old flame of years before.

“Bed Among The Lentils was done by Maggie Smith. It’s all the trapping of the vicar’s wife, but increasingly it emerges that she does have a drink problem, and the personal frailties take over as time goes on. It’s typical Bennett and works extremely well.”