The Continental Quilt
The Bridge Players Summer Play is always eagerly awaited giving, as it does, the Players to show a more versatile side to their talents. The choice this year was a comedy farce The Continental Quilt by Joan Greening.
Tackling a farce is never easy; the continuous dialogue must be delivered at a good pace and the timing of the frequent comings and goings of the characters is crucial to the success of the play. The fact that The Bridge Players pulled this off is testament to their skill.
Accepting that the basis of any farce is "when faced with two possible decisions, always choose the one that will lead to most confusion", The Continental Quilt fits the bill.
Essentially, the plot is based around Mike who is planning a quiet evening in with his girlfriend. However, his plans are disrupted when his brother appears and are shattered when he can't get rid of him. Gradually more and more family and neighbours arrive and Mike's situation gets increasingly complicated as he tries to keep warring factions apart. Of course, all protagonists eventually meet, differences are reconciled and Mike is left with three beauties to console him … just like real life, really.
The play was performed in the round which gives the Players more room than they would have on the stage. Whilst I think this adds to the audience enjoyment as it places them almost on the set, it cannot be easy for the Players to detach themselves from the watchers when they are almost sitting on the same sofa …
The set required three bedrooms to be leading off the sitting room and the way this was done was simple but very effective. In true farce tradition, one character disappeared through one bedroom door and later reappeared through a different one – though I don't think that was in the script.
Praise must be given to Mike, played admirably by Paul Underwood. Paul occupied the stage for most of the Play and was the lynchpin of the production.
Richard Pamment was very good as his objectionable brother, the girl chasing Richard. Claire Brotherton improves with every performance and gave a convincing portrayal as Richard's put upon wife.
The various girlfriends, played by Bryony Worthy, Michelle Rimmer and Jo Ezzy were believable, humorous and pleasing to the eye …
Val Smith was very realistic as the dominating mother and Dave Bridger looked quite at home playing the hen pecked husband.
Funniest performance, by looks if nothing else, was from Brian Austin as the odd and creepy beetle-loving Humbert Carpington. Always wondered what Brain looked like with hair …
But the funniest moment was when his dowdy girl-friend (excellently portrayed by Morag Underwood) underwent a makeover courtesy of two of Mike's girlfriends and re-appeared looking more like…….I can't quite think of the words to describe it but if you were there, you would have laughed.
All in all a thoroughly entertaining evening. Congratulations to the cast, the set designers and to the director, Dave Bridger – Well Done.
Report by Ross Vicars