Outside Edge (review)
THERE were capers in the outfield and in the clubhouse when the Berkhamsted Theatre Company stepped up to the crease for the classic cricketing comedy Outside Edge at The Court Theatre last week.
There was a danger that the cast would be on a sticky wicket following on from the award-winning 1990s TV show that starred Brenda Blethyn and Robert Daws.
But they turned in a winning innings that bowled the audience over with laughs throughout.
Writer Richard Harris fields a team of oddball characters that typify suburban man at play in a story about cricket.
Captain Roger Dervish lives for the game leaving his long-suffering wife, Miriam, a stark choice of embracing the role of captain’s wife or becoming a stay-at-home widow. She’s knocks the opposition for six in the clubhouse kitchen, with her afternoon teas the stuff of legend, and while Roger thinks he is at the helm, in reality it’s his wife’s organisational skills that keep the amateur team on the scoreboard each week.
Batting at number three is Bob, a man torn between his first wife and second, who takes refuge in the clubhouse (and its bar) while taking five is randy old letch Dennis.
Daemon bowler Kevin is the peroxide-blond prima donna of the team who throws a tantrum over a blister and regularly hurls his skinny little body into the arms of his strapping brickie of a wife Maggie.
Public school-educated solicitor Alex drags along his latest squeeze, Sharon (a pole dancer from East Molesey) while enjoying the sun in the outfield is Bob’s wife Ginnie.
Stephen J Davies, who turned in such a memorable performance in the company’s last show, The Producers, resembled a young Freddie Trueman as Roger, attempting to lead his team to victory by dint of enthusiasm and a minor talent with the bat. Davies was occasionally stumped when trying to get laughs out of the script but he mostly gave a solid performance in midfield.
Joy Hester busied herself with the cucumber sandwiches as Miriam (super!) and proved an effervescent foil to Roger’s often heartless behaviour while Ruth Salsbury, was memorable as Maggie even though she sounded like Beverly from Abigail’s Party (and co-incidentally Ruth’s previous dramatic outing with BTC).
Men of the match were Malcolm Emms as Bob who gave an excellent turn as an increasingly drunk and embittered batsman and Kevyn Connett as Kevin who would have given Ian Botham the vapours with this glowering and brattish behaviour.
A great innings by the team which certainly bowled this maiden over with their comedy antics.
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Weather for Leighton Buzzard
Wednesday 19 June 2013
Temperature: 13 C to 24 C
Wind Speed: 12 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 13 C to 19 C
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