The Dock Brief
What does it take to rescue a guilty man from death? This legal-themed play sees an incompetent barrister meet up with a difficult client.
45 Minutes To Go
The peanuts aren't out, and the vicar's coming to visit any minute, then a morose daughter turns up to spoil everything. These suburban travails have to be undergone, of course, but, well, doesn't life sometimes seem a bit suspiciously clichéd?
James McKendrick, Best Actor, Waltham Forest Drama Festival
Second place overall, Waltham Forest Drama Festival
What lengths do you have to go to to fulfil the right procedure? Where's the department you need? What's the right form to fill in? This new office comedy heightens the absurdity of bureaucracy into fully-fledged farce.
R E V I E W
Karen Hart: Saturday April 1 saw an end to this year's Waltham Forest Festival of Theatre, and the audience were treated to two first class ensemble pieces, firstly, the Wadham players' touching and tragic performance of The Brylcreem Boys (reviewed last week) and secondly, The Woodhouse Players' performance of the comedy, 45 Minutes to Go. The play concerns married couple Jerry and Penny strong performances from James McKendrick and Sonja Wardle and is set in their living room. It opens with poor Penny rushed off her feet, worrying about where she is going to place the peanuts as she awaits her dinner guests.
In the midst of everything their punkish daughter, Helen a part well established by Sacha Walker turns up unexpectedly, followed by Bernard the vicar a real flair for comedy shown here by Jim Killeen and accurately described by the adjudicator as a tall Mr Bean.' Suddenly it looks unlikely that they will be able to get everything ready with just 45 minutes to go.
This is a most unusual play, starting in the fashion of a typical farce, then suddenly changing into something altogether more interesting when Jerry suddenly realises he is in fact not in his own house, but in a stage set, and everything that has been happening so far is just part of the script.
Enter the stage manager convincingly played by Jan Prendergast to try to smoothe things out, but to no avail.
This most unusual play, written and directed by Stephen Balchin, was a real rollercoaster of ideas and emotions and was a great success, acting as a metaphor for life itself: all of us being limited by time.
This play was awarded the Classified Trophy for Second Team at the presentation, with James McKendrick taking the Arts Council Award for Best Performance by an Actor. Best Actress went to Lindsay Hollingsworth of the College Players. Bananas by the College Players gained the Arts Council Shield for Best Team and The Brylcreem Boys took the Romeril Award for Third Team.