WARKWORTH Drama Group producers obviously love a challenge, and their latest production, Alan Ayckbourn’s “Living Together”, was no exception.
In this case, the director Mike Dixon took on a comedy for which the young cast — mostly in their early 20s and, in one case, a teenager were being asked to portray a world-weary group of thirty-somethings struggling with less-than-perfect marriages.
Happily, they pulled this feat off with aplomb, delivering slick and polished performances at the village’s Memorial hall last September.
Living Together is one of The Norman Conquests trilogy of plays featuring the same three couples on the same weekend in the same place. Although crackling with comic lines and some genuinely poignant moments, the play has no great dramatic action, just small-scale domestic conflicts and misunderstandings.
The play’s basic theme is a familiar one — the frustrations, boredom and minor infidelities of marriages going stale.
Central to this theme is Norman, brilliantly acted by Daniel Mumby, a shambolic character teetering on the brink of an adulterous adventure but in the end just managing to hold his shaky marriage together. Ruth Potts was utterly convincing and natural in the role of his exasperated wife.
Also highly enjoyable were the mature performances of teenager Andrew Cheyne as Reg, a classic “hopeless husband”, and his tightlipped wife Sarah, played full of suppressed anger by Maria Horton.
Antonia Giacomini put in a strong performance as Annie, the object of Norman’s lust, and Mark Humble was just right as the dithery personality-free Tom, with his pale beige clothes and constant answer of “Ummmm” to every question.
Overall, another high-quality production from Warkworth Drama Group. The next will be the annual pantomime, A Christmas Carol, in December.