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BATS REVIEW FOR CHESHIRE CATS PRODUCTION

Cheshire Cats
St Joseph’s Players, Leigh

When thinking of fundraising ideas to raise money for Cancer awareness many ideas come to mind but by writing a play about a group of women running a race for life, author Gail Young has come up with a gem.

St Joseph’s Players took on this task with aplomb as they provided comedy, pathos and a really good night’s entertainment. Pauline Nevell has directed a real cracker here and with such a talented cast this production has hit all the right notes.

Vicky and Maggie, given a touch of realism by Donna Wood and Nicola Reynolds set the scene as they want to take things at an easy pace but with the introduction of organiser Hilary, played with abounding energy by Clare Nash the girls are put to the test and train flat out in order to reach their personal best.

Testosterone is on hand by the introduction of Vicky’s toyboy Andrew. Daniel McCarrick was game in providing us with a great performance dressed in full lycra regalia complete with wig. Jenny Costello proves to be one to watch as she portrayed Siobhan with a subtle innocence which made the character real.

At some point in the play each character gave a monologue or a song, telling their story and this touch made the significance of the play more apparent. This was done very well.

Providing cameo performances were Louise Bailey-Farrell as the keep fit aerobics instructor and Vikky Dixon, Chris Lovelady, Maggie Hall and the hilarious Pauline Dowsett as marshals for the run.

Pulling off a good comedy isn’t easy, but with such a great comedy actress as Barbara Mayers you know you are on to a winner. Mayers performance as Yvonne was nothing short of hilarious. One minute we had tones of Hyacinth, but that was soon replaced by a touch of Hylda Baker. Mayers had the audience on the edge of their seats in anticipation as they waited for the next one liner or anecdote. The song she performed was comedy gold. A truly brilliant performance.

All in all, this production left the audience wanting more which is a good sign that you have done a good job, and in this case St Josephs, in the capable hands of Pauline Nevell can add this production to their list of successes.


Paul Cohen BATS