Even More Bonkers
Posted by News Editor
Posted in News
The Even Greater Cheriton Variety Show – Cheriton Players, Cheriton Village Hall – 22 March 2017
By Kevin Gover, News Editor
Can it really be two years since the Great Cheriton Variety Show led me to write those words: “Ever so slightly bonkers…”? The one which was so random, so way out in left field that it was an utter joy? Cue the follow-up and largely sold-out ‘Even Greater Cheriton Variety Show’ which has been included as one of the Village Hall fundraising opening events. The campaign will enable the village itself to buy the premises and expand further.
Of course the ‘ever-so-slightly-bonkers’ refers mainly to the comedy sketches… and so, on a level of bonkersness, I thought the following deserved special mention: ‘The Crossword Sketch’ (bonkers and pictured below) – where a buffoon on a train is annoying the rest of the people on a train carriage with his inability to complete a simple crossword – was fun to watch, especially Ian Monier-Williams, whose levels of anger rose almost every 20 seconds.
For me, THE stand out moment of the comedy was ‘The Master and the Maid’ (very, very bonkers and pictured below), which you may have seen before but which was new to me. You watch a black-and-white French ‘film’ which runs forwards, backwards, and gets ‘stuck’ as the projector breaks down – and congrats to the techie (Jamie Herdman) at the back who even joined in with the fun, complete with beret and blue-and-white-striped jersey.
The Cheriton Players are so good at the comedy and ‘out there’ elements that they largely stood out- but there was plenty to enjoy on the music side too, with many well-known songs to sing or clap along along to. Absolutely every single person on the table next to me was belting out ‘Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’ from Mary Poppins. There were some which inadvertently contained some laugh-out-loud moments too.
For example, Tim Tyler (pictured above) chose to tackle probably the most difficult tongue-twister ever devised by Gilbert and Sullivan – the ‘Modern Major-General’s Song’ from ‘Pirates of Penzance’. Tim, bless him, lost his way at one point and asked if he could start again- with a delightful retort from Sue Cox on the piano: “Well, where would you like to go from?!” Once Tim had finished there were ROARS of approval and long applause.
‘The Ramblers Song’ was totally bonkers (which probably suited David Cradduck down to a ‘T’) and featured some excellent musical accompaniment from Michael Tresair and Glynn Williams. I also enjoyed Paul Denza’s note-perfect rendition of ‘Maria’ from West Side Story, and EVERYTHING in which Alison Carter appeared (with Paul in ‘Tonight’ from ‘West Side Story’ and ‘Summertime’ from ‘Porgy and Bess’, for example.
Elsewhere on this website you will find our review of ‘Phantom of the Opera’ at Perins last year – a review which in itself led our website to go into meltdown. I was delighted to see Sophie Jarrett and Toby Cooper (pictured above) take part in this show. What voices! How on earth does she get to those high notes? Who would deny Toby appearing in the West End one day? Outstanding.
This was opening night and I don’t normally like doing opening nights. I like to ‘join in’ after a few performances where everyone has got into the swing of things. A bonkers spotlight even tried to steal the show on the opening night – but I’m sure it was fixed soon after.
All this was completely overcome anyway by the way everyone mucks in together with the community spirit that exists in Cheriton, and why Winchester Today is proud as an organisation to be involved in everything they do.
Overall, this was a great effort – with a packed hall (below) – and with a great ploughman’s supper to enjoy on all tables.
Even More Bonkers? Yep. Can this now be a regular offering ahead of Spring? I jolly well hope so.
(Performance Images: Craig Robertson)