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Neville's Island: Review

Foursome marooned on an island in a lake

ONE way to make a splash in a play is to force your actors to enter the stage dripping wet and wading through a ditch full of water.

 

That is what demonic director Keith Holness did to the cast of Tim Firth's comedy Neville's Island at the Playhouse Theatre, Whitstable. The first three characters led by "Captain" Neville (Richard Adams), grumpy Gordon (Peter Bressington) and the pedantic Angus (Roy "chubby" Brown) were given the full water torture treatment in more ways than one. To prepare for their entrance they had to clamber into already wet clothes in the wings, then have stage-hands shower them in water before their cue. At least religious ornithologist Roy (Neal Morcom, making his debut for the Lindley Players) was saved that. He just ended up running about the stage at the end in only his white Y-fronts and lots of blood, which seemed to amuse many women in the audience. Not content with inflicting pain on the performers, Holness also locked the audience in his sights. When the auditorium doors were finally opened the audience was ushered into a fog-bound Lake District, nicely setting the scene for the ordeal about to unfold.

 

The play, about four out-of-condition middle-aged businessmen on a team-building exercise marooned on an island in Derwentwater, was a hoot from start to finish. The comedy was fast and furious yet the cast could swing to pathos when needed, even if they were hopping around in nothing more than their underpants. Just remember not to take a sausage with you the next time you go camping...

 

John Nurden

Whitstable Times Review: 3rd December 2010