REVIEW: Communicating Doors


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communicating doors


REVIEW: Communicating Doors, Cheriton Players at the Village Hall

(Images: Craig Robertson)

communicating doors

Fans of the original ‘Star Trek’ series will be familiar with an episode called ‘Tomorrow is Yesterday’. This is when the Enterprise goes back to the 1960s because of a black hole and an F-104 pilot is scrambled to check out what has just appeared in the sky. He has to be beamed aboard and immediately becomes a problem because of what he sees. The ‘future’ is not allowed to be disrupted as his yet-to-be-born son eventually becomes a big part of the US Space Programme.  The pilot is then returned to a moment in time just before he saw Kirk and crew and life carries on as if nothing had happened.

Knowing what we know, how I’m sure that many of us would like to alter things if we could travel back in time… May 1939 perhaps… September the 10th… stopping JFK getting into that limo…

What then if you could go through a ‘portal’ backwards and forwards in time – and change the future, especially if you found out that you were going to be murdered?

communicating doors

Such then is the premise for this play which moves backwards and forwards between 1997, 2017 and 2037 – sometimes slowly, sometimes at a frenetic pace in the second half – for a display of attempted murder, greed, intrigue, revenge – and laughter with the wives, business men and call girl.

communicating doors

The ‘Communicating Door’ which transports the cast members has to be used quite a lot in the first half and perhaps it slows down the pace a bit too much – but on the other hand you are gradually introduced to all three year time periods and what the cast and surroundings look like – and how certain people change – so perhaps that’s a good thing.

On that note, congratulations to the backstage crew for another superb stage setting, which has six areas of focal interest in an already incredibly small space.

It’s director Craig Robb’s first go at directing. I’ve said before just how much passion goes into his acting, and it’s the same here with his directing.

On stage there are many familiar faces – and some relatively new ones as well.

Fiona Mackay is back after her triumphant appearance in The Game’s Afoot as Poopay. Her angst at what’s happening around her – and hand-wringing – is a joy to watch. All the while dressed in dominatrix gear! Good job it was a warm night…

communicating doors
(Around 17 degrees outside!)

I watched how David Cradduck’s ‘Older Reece’ goes from being very, very, very ill – with some very clever and convincing make-up – back to the man we all recognise.

communicating doors

Tim Conway is suitably evil is the villainous Julian. Playing dead is a speciality!

communicating doors

Helena Gomm is back on stage too as ‘wife number 2 Ruella’ – and has some fantastic lines and put-downs. the balcony scene is a joy, totally convincing and very clever.

communicating doors

Special mention should go to Isobel Wolf (Young Jessica) – who’s doing A-levels at St Swithun’s in Winchester and who apparently is doing exam revision backstage. Sam Griffiths (Harold) has returned from living in East Asia for 10 years and does a fine job of wrestling with women and his moustache (!)

communicating doors

In a play that’s dialogue-heavy, I can completely understand the odd wayward line and none of the Players should beat themselves up about it; they ‘worked it out’ to get back on track. One of the biggest laughs came from a brilliant ad-lib to Harold’s wayward moustache; again, no-one in the audience minded!

Yet another triumph.

Such is the popularity now of the shows put on by the Cheriton Players, the remaining shows are returns only. You can send an enquiry message by clicking here