Review – Dead Man Quotes

Dead Man Quotes

Directed by Daniel Shepherd

This was a wonderful piece and Daniel Shepherd is to be congratulated on its creation. He had a huge advantage, of course, in playing the main role of Terry.  It has to be said, however, that playwrights don’t always make the greatest actors, so well done on both fronts.

The prospect of cleaning up a seemingly abandoned council flat is not the most savoury job.  Many of us have seen glimpses of this real-life situation on television and turned away in horror.

Foremost in the minds of our band of “habitat containment and removal managers” was the observance of tradition.  The two more experienced ‘operatives” wanted to ensure that the newest recruit to the team, Pike, (Roland Eve) should understand the importance of Tradition.  He needed to know how things were properly done.

The discovery of the light switch changed the mood of the whole piece.  There, in the middle of the room, it appeared there was a corpse, decently covered, having to remove it was not part of their traditional role.  The Police were to be called and the team’s first thought was to return to the depot. But before they could leave, they decided that it would be respectful to say “a few words.”  

The discovery of two photographs on the sideboard, some questionable magazines along with some unpaid bills gave them, they thought, a suitable profile of the dead person.  The resulting dialogue, inventing a character for the deceased, created moments of really great black humour.  Poor Pike (Roland Eve) was clearly bemused and wondered what he had walked into in every sense of the phrase.  Roland portrayed a lovely, uncertain, and hesitant character.  His face was very descriptive and his voice well projected.

The character created by Jerry (Sid Dolbear) gave us so many occasions on which to smile and laugh. His facial expressions alone were a joy to behold, but he sometimes under projected.  His character, however, was entirely believable.  Have we met him before in Dad’s Army, I wondered?

Barry Whitglow’s (Murray Stephen) entry was an explosion of light, colour, and volume, it provided a hilarious contrast to the melodramatic, momentary sobriety of the other three characters. Sadly, he had been over-enthusiastic on his entry and momentarily lost his lines which broke the pace a bit.

Despite this, it was a funny, sad and very successful production and I hope that Daniel will continue to write for the stage.  

Review by “Polly”

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