Story added: 5:00pm Thu Jan 17, 2013
Wry insight into family reunion
Wednesday 23rd January, 2013 - Farndon Memorial Hall
By Dawn Bond
Season’s GreetingsHELPING Bernard, played by Tony Smith, get ready for his festive puppet show are Laura Talbot as Pattie and, right, Geoff Morgan as Harvey. 100113JT9-14
Festive celebrations for a dysfunctional family are the focus of one of Alan Ayckbourn’s funniest plays — Season’s Greetings. It is being staged by the Robin Hood Theatre Company at Farndon Memorial Hall from Wednesday to a week on Saturday at 7.30pm.
The farce takes place in the home of Neville and Belinda Bunker, from Christmas Eve to the early hours of December 27.
Guests include Neville’s sister, Phyllis, and her husband, Bernard; Neville’s uncle, Harvey; Belinda’s sister, Rachel, and her writer friend Clive; and friend Eddie and his wife, Pattie.
Over the years it seems that Neville (Mark Lebeter) and Belinda (Jane Sanderson) have grown apart with Neville spending most of his time in the shed fixing things while Belinda looks after the children. She feels neglected.
Phyllis (Judith Hodge) tends to be a bit accident-prone and likes a drink or two while Bernard (Tony Smith) a doctor, likes to entertain the children with his puppet show.
Harvey (Geoff Morgan) likes nothing more than watching violence on television and talking about guns and security.
Eddie (Richard Fry) is rather lazy and spends most of his time avoiding his heavily pregnant wife, Pattie (Laura Talbot) and children.
Rachel (Kerri Saxby) although unmarried, would like to have a relationship but does not really know how to go about it. Clive (Mike Follen) is thrown among all the mayhem and chaos and he and Belinda become attracted to one another.
Director Jean Lebeter said: “Season’s Greetings is regarded as something of a classic Ayckbourn play and is one of his funniest. Rather worryingly, Alan has said on numerous occasions, that the play is also a reflection of his own family Christmas experiences.
“Bernard’s hideous puppet show is inspired by Alan’s own experiences of giving his sons a puppet theatre for Christmas.”
Season’s Greetings is Ayckbourn’s 26th play. It received its world premiere on September 25, 1980, in the round at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough, followed by its London premiere at The Round House on October 13, 1980.
Both these productions starred Collingham actor Robin Bowerman as Clive. Bowerman directed Ayckbourn’s Comic Potential for the Robin Hood Theatre Company in November 2002.
Tickets are available from José King on 01636 706097, Newark Tourist Information Centre, Southwell Library, or at www.robinhoodtheatre.co.uk
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