Bletchingley Players presented a trio of one act plays under the umbrella of A Bundle of Laughs in the village hall on three nights, 24th, 25th and 26th May. All were directed with a light touch by Barbara Saunders.
Rugs & Pewter by Sam Bate.
A successful writer, Mrs Brown, masterfully played by Di Brooke, thwarts her two grasping daughters, Alice and Maude, played by Susan Power and Sally Harling, by hatching a plot with her housekeeper, Bertha and neighbour, Mrs Oke, played by Jackie Lucas and Joanna Scott, which convinces them that on the side she is really a master burglar and indeed a murderer. The final straw for them is a body under the logs in the woodshed.
Café Society by Ayshe Raif
Three ‘old dears’ Dolly, Hetty and Amy played with wonderful aplomb by Liz Tomlin, Felicity Lund and Joyce Wells, complete with ‘ackney’ accents, are contemplating the closure of their local ‘caff’. They are reminiscing about times past and worrying about their futures. Humour and pathos in equal quantities were evident in bucketloads. In the background the unspeaking waitress, played wonderfully by Wendy Whittaker, shows every emotion in utter (almost!) silence. Wonderful stuff!
A Cut in the Rates by Alan Ayckbourn
Miss Pickhart, played by Jackie Lucas, is from the council rating office who are after Thomas Ratchet, played by Guy Hudson, for arrears. Ratchet, a retired illusionist, has no intention of paying and gets her to visit the cellar which houses all his old stage props. His supposedly dead wife Rosalinda, played by Sally Harling ,who allegedly died in a terrible stage accident some years , now appears and persuades Miss Pickhart to get into the ‘magic’ box convincing her that this will set Rosalinda free.
Ratchet re-appears and seems to think that it is Rosalinda in the box come back to haunt him. He proceeds to saw her in half yet again. As he saws he sings Christmas carols and orders her to join in. Being sawn in half
and singing carols particularly for someone who has just returned to work from a bout of nervous trouble is hilarious.
Miss Pickhart does escape of course whereupon Ratchet and his wife prepare to meet their next creditor – the man from the Gas Board !!
Finally, I must applaud the three sets imaginatively designed by the ever creative Cyril Mighall, stage manager, and his team.