BATS REVIEW This Happy Breed
St Joseph’s Players
Noel Cowards ‘This Happy Breed’ tells the story of the Middle Class Gibbons family and covers the period between World War I and World War II. We are given an insight into the life of the family when Frank Gibbons returns from Army duty. They have just moved house and are a family again with their three children along with Franks Sister and Mother in law and next door neighbours – The Mitchells.
Directed by St Josephs stalwart – Doreen Johnson, we witness the ups and downs of family life and the trials and tribulations that Franks wife Ethel faces as she copes with her role of trying to keep the family together as they experience family dispute and sudden loss.
Pauline Nevell in the role of Ethel turns in another accomplished performance. Pauline displays excellent stage presence with a believable interpretation. Darren Nash as Frank understood the character and portrayed him well displaying some good interaction between other characters. Karen Jones excelled as daughter Queenie (who leaves the household to follow her heart to be with an older partner) as did Clare Nash in the role of Franks Sister, Sylvia. Both characters were well read. Christy Coleman as daughter Vi and Jordon Boyle as son Reg completed the family line up and both turned in good performances. Barbara Mayers as Mother- in-Law, Kitty brought a comedic aspect to the piece with some great one-liners.
Solid supporting performances from, Michael Evans, Ryan Deakin, Zoe Unsworth, Danny McCarrick and Kitti Dixon completed the line up of twelve characters who all complimented each other well. With a constructed box set depicting the Gibbons living room the whole cast and crew worked well to create another excellent production from St Josephs Players.