Wimborne Drama Productions
Review by Marilyn Barber
From the moment Corie Bratter (Jemma Cable) bounced onto the stage, we knew we were in for a lively production.
Jemma is a regular performer with Wimborne Musical Theatre, but this is her first role as a leading lady. And how ever high her bar was, she certainly smashes it. She has to go through the whole gamut of emotions from excitement, which is literally bubbling over, to immature despair.
Team her with husband of six days, Paul (David Beddard), who is conservative and somewhat uptight and conflict is sure to follow. This is not least because his character cannot understand why his wife has chosen an apartment up six flights of stairs, and with a hole in the skylight letting in the worst that a New York winter can throw at them. His bemused and often deadpan expressions add to the humour in this comedy by Neil Simon.
Tracie Billington-Beardsley has performed with many other companies, but this is her first time with this company – and it is a splendid debut as Mrs Banks, Corrie’s mother. An accomplished actress, she adds a great deal of humour to this part which requires her to go from somewhat over-bearing to frivolous.
Richard Neal has played a wide variety of parts in 20 productions at the Tivoli, and he always gets under the skin of his characters. Clearly he enjoys playing the bohemian, energetic, devil-may-care Victor Velasco who lives in the floor above the Bratters.
The cameo players also add a good deal of humour, as they arrive in a state beyond exhaustion after climbing the stairs – namely Colin Pile as the telephone engineer, and Simon Jackson as the delivery man.
A directorial debut for Rob Cording-Cook, he should reflect on the success of this production which received rousing applause from the first night audience.
Contact the Tivoli box office to see if tickets are available for tonight (Friday) and Saturday at 7.30pm or the matinee on Saturday at 2.30pm.