The theatre isn't what it was, but then it never was what it was.
This comedy depicts the frantic backstage life behind repertory theatre during the Second World War. Norman is the dresser to Sir, reminding him of his lines, organising him behind the scenes with quiet devotion. A cast of extraordinary, strongly painted characters mingle with smart, funny dialogue in this thoroughly English comedy for anyone who ever loved the theatre.
Download the mp3 recording of Khadija being interviewed on Whipps Cross Hospital Radio on the 22nd September for the then forthcoming production of The Dresser. (Right-click, then click 'Save Link As')
R E V I E W
Karen Hart: Ronald Harwood's bittersweet play dealing with the relationship between a well-respected actor and his effeminate dresser was excellent.
The two main characters, 'Sir' and his dresser, 'Norman', were immaculately played. Gary Adam's portrayal of Sir's complex, multi-faceted character was faultless, displaying anger, hopelessness, a maudlin sentimentality for a theatrical life lost to the war and ultimately a belief that the show must go on - at any cost.
Tim Saward as Norman as the put-upon friend and confidant, delivered his lines with a wonderful blend of sarcastic enlightenment. On several occasions he had the audience laughing out loud with his bitchy put-downs and his timing and delivery were faultless.
The supporting roles were both polished and well cast, with Khadija Cheetham-Slade, as Sir's long suffering partner, playing her part beautifully.
Nicola Holland and Jana Theron in the roles of Madge and Irene were convincing and Vaughan Prosser and Colin Heinink as members of the company; Geoffrey Thornton and Mr Oxenby were a delight, creating memorable and humorous characters. The scenery and props helped to instil a feeling for the year 1942, in which the play is set and the split stage, depicting both Sir's dressing room and the stage wings, was a nice touch that worked very well here. In fact the whole play was a delight, showing once again this group's dedication and professionalism to the theatre.
I noticed I was not alone in having to wipe a tear from my eye as the curtain came down, in what was ultimately a very moving production.
Guardian - October 26th 2006