On Monday Next

On Monday Next Programme Cover

a comedy by Philip King

Directed by Mike Sparks

November 2004

Thursday 25th at 7.45 pm
Friday 26th at 7.45 pm
Saturday 27th at 7.45pm

There are some pictures on the On Monday Next gallery page

The full programme [50K pdf] for this production is available from the archive

The Drossmouth Repertory Company are holding the second rehearsal of a new play which is due to open next Monday. The proceedings are complicated by an incomplete set and the cast not knowing their lines. The unexpected appearance of the young author does not improve the situation, especially when he seems to want to direct too. The bombastic producer wants instant rewrites and constantly rows with a strong willed cast, who themselves are battling with a carpenter who insists in sawing up the stage during rehearsals. The leading man and lady start to squabble furiously and there seems little chance that the play will open. But these are old troupers and the show must go on...


The stage of the Theatre Royal, Drossmouth

Act 1

Wednesday morning, about ten fifteen

Act 2

Ten minutes later

Act 3

Twenty minutes later

Harry BlackerAlan Jobson
GeorgeStewart Shrank
Maud BarronSally Martin
Jerry WintertonCiaran Ward
The AuthorNick Johnson
Daphne WrayPaola Burgess
Avis ClareAnne-Louise Davies
Jackson HarleyMichael Reece
Mary MannersCatherine Walker
Sandra LaytonSonia Beldom
Norwood BeverleyDavid Constable
DoctorStephen Sewell
Ambulance StaffRobert Roemer
 Ari Gnanamuttu
Production Team
DirectorMike Sparks
Assistant DirectorLaurie Heatherington
Stage ManagementRuth Griffiths
 Ari Gnanamuttu
 Robert Roemer
Company ManagerPaul Sparks
Set Design & ConstructionJohn Savage
 Ruth Griffiths
 Nick Johnson
 Robert Roemer
 Margaret Johnson
 Mari I'Anson
CostumesJenny Sparks
PromptPaul Sparks
Front of House Manager John Savage
Box OfficeJudith Shrank
Programme & PublicityDavid Constable

Wedgewood writes...

The Guild Players performed this play by Philip King on 25th, 26th and 27th November. This is a play within a play (the second such offering from The Guild Players this year). It features the problems experienced by the Drossmouth Repertory Company and their egocentric Producer Harry Blacker (played by Alan Jobson) in rehearsing next Monday's offering. This is a truly awful piece only being produced because the nephew of one of the Theatre's Directors has written it.

The play is a tour de force for the actor playing Harry and Alan Jobson brought pace and style to the task, although perhaps some of the solo pieces to us in the audience (we were not supposed to be there you see) could have done with cropping. A nice tension was created between The Producer and his Stage Manager Jackson Harley well played by Michael Reece, and between the Producer and the rest of the cast with The Author (played by Nick Johnson) who turns up to help.

Ciaran Ward playing the 'silly ass' character Jerry Winterton warmed to his task as the evening went on, particularly in his developing relationship with aspiring but hopeless young actress Avis Clare played by Anne-Louise Davies. Sonia Beldom and David Constable as bickering husband and wife duo Norwood and Sandra injected pace into proceedings as did Paola Burgess in her portrayal of Daphne Wray the 'femme fatale' of the Company. Catherine Walker as the nice unassuming ASM Mary Manners got the biggest laugh of the evening. Stewart Shrank provided a suitably gruff portrayal of George the Stage Carpenter who literally brings about the downfall of Harry Blacker and Sally Martin gave us 'old trouper' Maud Barron whose shoulders must have wringing wet with the tears of others by the end of the evening. There were 'walk on' performances by Stephen Sewell as the doctor and Mike Sparks and Robert Roemer as the Ambulance men.

The setting, particularly the false proscenium, boxes and orchestra pit which had been created by the set design and construction team were very well done.

In all I have to say that on the night I visited, whilst it was a pleasant enough evening competently acted, I came away with strange feeling that there had been a dislocation between us in the audience and the players on the stage; that I had missed something somewhere.


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