Review by Mark Wheeller
A premier performance in every way !
How amazing to be reporting on a premiere of this play after over 4,500 performances of it... and a premiere that occurred in the UK!
Pepper's Ghost Theatre Company in my old home Milton Keynes presented an adult premiere of this play. It was amazing to see this play I know so well performed by a group who had all the cast members played by people who are the right age for the parts! It worked... it really worked!
Someone who I used to teach many years ago at Stantonbury in Milton Keynes... (Gundge... hi Gundge!)... said to me afterwards... I can't imagine it being performed by students after seeing that. I know what he means. It really added a dimension previously missing in any of the amateur or professional productions I have seen. I have suggested to the group that they enter it for a One Act Play Festival so if you live nearby you may well get the opportunity to see it next year... it is really worth while doing so.
In the script I have suggested using only beer crates... borne out of my Youth Theatre productions never having much of a budget... and me probably not having much idea of set! Well Pepper's Ghost ignored my advice... and set the play part stylistically and part naturalistically... with Vi (Judy's Mum) having her own sofa and little bits of furniture. She remained in her front room throughout the play... and it worked a treat. It was as though she was dreaming (or nightmaring) the whole thing. It gave it an added poignancy. I really loved it.
Thanks to Rosemary and the whole cast who have so obviously worked very hard to put on such a fantastic production... and proving my contention that PUNCH can be more than just a play for schools.