Saturday night saw the conclusion of the sell-out production of Helen Halliday’s Upham Hall. Led by a bravura performance from Clyde Young, everyone in the ensemble cast put in an outstandingly self-assured and eye-poppingly entertaining turn. And the Rushlake Green audiences clearly rose to the occasion – laughing uproariously at the ribald humour but also fully appreciating the post-modern inversion of the deceptively dark and ironic subtext. This was a brave piece of writing on many levels. A play in which the characters are self-evidently conscious of the fact that they’re in a play, as demonstrated by the omni-presence of the whole cast in a greek chorus behind the action. Clyde Young’s character takes this literally Epic Theatrical conceit to its limits, not just breaking the third wall but completely smashing it. Not so much asking the audience to suspend their disbelief as inviting them to see their world as it is. All this was demanding quite a lot from an unsuspecting local audience but, possibly fuelled by appropriate application of wine, those watching were clearly able see beyond the unflinching absurdist off-colour humour to appreciate the subtlety of the piece’s innovative underlying dramatic thread. So an outstanding success – which may have pleasantly surprised some of those concerned, while also delighting those that managed to get tickets for this much in demand event.

Well done, to everyone on stage, and behind the scenes, for another exhilarating, faultless and memorable production.

Finally, keep an eye out for no less than three planned theatrical contributions by the Village Players to this year’s Little Arts Festival in August.
Can’t wait.