Reviews of 'Disposing of the Body'    

Reviews of 'Outside Edge'

Review by Philip Bosworth, the Spalding Guardian

 

It is over twenty-five years since the cricket-based comedy Outside Edge was first produced, and over twenty years since the definitive television production with Paul Eddington, Prunella Scales and Maureen Lipman. However the script is as sound as a well rolled pitch, and a production which is as good as the St Nicolas Players version last week can make it seem as fresh as a summer’s day.

 

The story centres around a cricket club who’s obsessive captain Roger, is trying to get his team together to play their weekly match, but his problems are nothing compared with those of his team members, their wives, ex wives, and girl-friend. Roger, who is too busy organising to listen, played with immaculate timing by Peter Ayre, was the perfect foil for one of the outstanding performances, Miriam played by Cathy Mellor. She was in charge of the teas and by the end I could hear some members of the audience chuckling under their breath as they whispered her catch-phrases “It’s not compulsory” or “Thank you so much”. Her reaction and quick forgiveness when she found out about Roger’s little peccadillo in Dorking was a brilliant example of a worm turning and turning back again. 

 

Bob is a part that can easily be ruined by being overplayed or underplayed. Brian Jackson did neither. The character was just right. We thought at first he was having an affair, then going back to his ex wife and finally everything turned out right with his wife Ginnie. Carol Killick played this with a superb acid tongue interspersed with moments of despair and vulnerability. 

 

Dennis (Nick Fletcher) gets everything wholesale, played as a cross between a sort of failed Arthur Daley and Boysie from Only Fools and Horses. His creepy dealings with the women of the club and way he despised his wife were a good characterisation and the audience’s delight when his wife set fire to his precious new BMW were only superseded when lawyer Alex got his come-uppance. 

 

Alex a young solicitor annoyed everyone so much that when he said “I’m a lawyer not a bloody lavatory attendant.” And Bob replied “Same thing old boy” the whole audience applauded. His drippy but long-suffering girlfriend Sharon (Vicky Bunting.) proved her comedy ability by her antics when desperate to get to the ladies. These are two young people I haven’t seen with St Nic’s before. I would hope and expect to see a lot more in the future. 

 

The round up was completed by Kevin and Maggie, a couple where he did the cooking and she laid bricks, knocked down walls and mixed cement. Peter Breach as Kevin showed the required strength and vulnerability very well. Karen Harley as Maggie with such superb lines as “Toast and marmalade and sex. They’re the only things I’m any good at” was probably the best Maggie I have seen since Maureen Lipman. 

 

The work of the technical team under Stage manager was so good it wasn’t even noticed. Over the years we have come to expect a high standard from St Nicolas Players. Director Alisdair Baker achieved that and more.

Review by James Frearson, the Spalding Target

 

The classic cricket comedy Outside Edge was the latest production from St Nicolas Players at the South Holland Centre last week. The plot centres around a cricket club but it could almost be any club who’s captain believes he has all the leadership qualities to run the United Nations. Roger, is trying to get his team together to play British Railways Maintenance Division Yeading East,

 

Roger, excellently characterised by Peter Ayre, was regularly rescued from his own chaos by his wife, Miriam played by Cathy Mellor. She really shone as she tried to hide her frustrations with Roger, the cricket team and life in general.

 

Dennis not only gets everything wholesale, he is sure that every woman must find him irresistible. He treats his wife as a doormat and the audience could well understand her feelings when she set fire to his new BMW. Nick Fletcher made the most of this totally unsavoury character. 

 

Bob looked a shifty character from the start. The character was just right with a masterful performance from Brian Jackson. Was he having an affair? What was happening with his ex wife? What a situation for his current wife Ginnie played with just the right balance of venom and vulnerability by Carol Killick. 

 

Maggie, she lays bricks, and Kevin, he cooks, and they weren’t speaking. But there was enough noise and action between them to create mayhem. Peter Breach as Kevin has really good comic ability while ‘Karen Harley was superb as Maggie making the most of a string of one liners such as “toast and marmalade and sex. They’re the only things I’m any good at”. 

 

Alex an arrogant young solicitor who annoyed everyone was played with absolute precision by Paul Hilliar. His pretty but shy and dizzy but long-suffering girlfriend Sharon (Vicky Bunting.) proved a hit with her gushing speech and desperate gyrations as her way to the toilet was blocked. And the way she attacked Alex at the end she could probably give Margaret Thatcher a lesson in hand-bagging. 

 

The whole production was technically and performance wise an excellent piece of theatre and director Alisdair Baker has every right to feel pleased with the outcome.

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