2014 is a very special year for the playwright Sir Alan Ayckbourn as he celebrates his 75th birthday and 50 years of his plays being stage in the West End. To celebrate, seasoned directed Jon McNamara from the Moot House Players presented this evening (08/05/14) a performance of his play ‘Living Together’, which follows the story of three married couples and how they intertwine over a night spent at one couples home, particularly the promiscuous Norman.
The technical crew of the show had put together a simple, but effective, set which clearly signified where and when the action took place. The fact that the props and set were assembled and put together largely by members of the cast highlights the strength of the Moot House Players in working together, with everyone getting involved not just on stage but behind the scenes as well.
The cast was largely made up of seasoned Moot House Players, however there was one debutant in the form of Ruth Lewis, who played the role of Annie. Considering this was her first time on the stage she showed some very good confidence and her projection was spot on and I look forward to seeing her in more productions to come.
A special mention must also follow for three other particular cast members. Michael Rees’ comic timing was superb in helping some of the play go down very well with the audience, and he portrayed the character of Reg with individuality which made, for me, his the most interesting character.
Geoff Leeds played the role of the socially awkward and slightly hopeless Tom excellently. It was good to see particular body movements and vocal qualities repeated as he had obviously explored his character in some detail.
In my opinion, however, the best actor of the night was Rosalind Barron, who played the role of Ruth. Unfortunately, she did not appear until the second act but once she was on she dominated the stage.
This show was the first of a three night run and it was not without its hiccups, however speaking to the cast afterwards they acknowledged this and sought to eradicate them for the next two nights. I will admit that I did find the first act fairly slow paced, and I was a little bit frustrated by the amount of promptings which the actors required, as I’m sure they were themselves.
I have seen productions recently which I have enjoyed more, but similarly ones which I have disliked more so. I believe that if the issues which the cast are aware of are ironed out and the performance becomes quicker, more confident and committed to ensuring that the audience is going to have a good time then it could be a very good show which I would still recommend seeing over the next two days.
Living Together is running at Moot Hall from 8-10 of May. Tickets cost £8 and are available on 01279 639170.