Review: Confusions, Midhurst Players

Midhurst Players recent production of Alan Ayckbourn's play 'Confusions' was an inspired choice of play; it suited the talent and range of skills in the society beautifully as well as working very well in the South Downs Centre Memorial Hall's auditorium.

The production was directed by Judy Gray, who had herself performed with Ayckbourn’s company in Scarborough, the style, humour, characterisation and poignancy of the piece were fully appreciated.

The play has five linked scenes, Mother Figure, Drinking Companions, Between Mouthfuls, Gosforth’s Fete and Talk in the Park, which afforded some of the actors the opportunity to be double cast.

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Although much of the play is very funny it only works if the characterisation is truthful and believable, good timing is essential if the humour and pathos are to be fully realised, the actors showed their skill and craft in realising these performances and scenes successfully. The cast is to be congratulated; the characters and relationships were created with sensitivity and panache.

Although the play was written quite some time ago because it is so well crafted, and the situations so well observed, it seemed as fresh as when it was first performed.

The scene which, historically, has proved the most challenging over the years is the fourth scene Gosforth’s Fete which was magnificently done, the staging, stage business, timing and characterisation were all fantastic and the scene built inevitably to total chaos at the conclusion. The audience, many of whom one imagined had been involved at some point with a village fete, laughed and laughed.

The actors in this scene, Mandy Carr, James Woodley, Denis Harrison, Sarah-Jane Steed and Roger Booth (all of whom also appeared in other scenes) excelled themselves in capturing this fast paced, high comedic style with zest and evident enjoyment.

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The costumes and staging were very well done to support this first class entertainment.

I know the audience left delighted and will be looking forward to the next production with anticipation

Susan Ford

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