An unusual night of offbeat ‘entertainment’

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One Act Theatre Festival

Preston Playhouse

On Friday evening the audience were treated to three one-act plays.

Game On by Dark Knights Theatre was a difficult play to get right as much depended on improvisation as the dialogue was not set in stone.  Based on TV game shows, this could be loosely likened to rather risqué Mr & Mrs and was heavily dependent on audience participation. Perhaps because it was the first play of the evening or maybe because the audience hadn’t quite anticipated the format and were unsure of their role, it could only be described as excruciatingly embarrassing for all. Marie Dickson, Dave Kirby, Barbara Cooper and Ruth Sinclair took on the parts of compere/hostess and contestants with two unfortunate members of the audience being coaxed on to the stage as the other participants. The whole thing became chaotic and, with no real structure, the ‘play’ stumbled to a close.

Dialogue by Harlequins, directed by Stephen Carr, is set somewhere in the heavens where “She” alias God or good (Stacey Sagar) and “Her” alias Satan or evil (Sarah Knibbs) contemplate the follies of man and whether they should interfere in their actions or give them freewill. As the play progresses we see “She” losing her power and “Her” gaining more power but at the end of the proceedings it is easy to see that no interference is needed by either of them as man is quite capable of destroying himself.

A thought-provoking play if a little incomprehensible at times.

From Here to the Library by The Hoghton Players, directed by Millie Santus, a is gentle romantic comedy taking place in the home of Beryl Tidy (Bernadette Nuttall) who works in the library but also looks after her old Dad (Brian Hoyle). After a “melt down” at work Beryl takes time off. Her boss, Mr Gostilow (Derek Forrest) arrives at the house to persuade her to return. There is the beginnings of romance in the air for Beryl and Mr Gostilow while her old Dad sitting in the corner with the TV for company. With a nice touch of hesitance in the romance and the old Dad behaving badly it gave some light relief to the end of a rather unusual evening’s entertainment.

Ellen Campbell