23 A Cupboard Under the Stairs by Deborah Amor

Directed by Philip Amor

11-14 April 2013, Felpham Village Hall
18 May, 2013, St. John’s Chapel, Chichester

SYNOPSIS

It is Sandra Bradshaw’s wedding day. Her mother Shirley is struggling to cope with her demanding daughter, an elderly mother, an ineffectual husband, and a missing bouquet. The tensions increase when Shirley’s estranged half-sister, Maureen, arrives to celebrate her niece’s wedding.
Enter the mysterious lodger, Kathleen. She has recently befriended Sandra and is to be her bridesmaid. When the wedding and the stresses associated with it bring out the conflict between Shirley and Maureen, Kathleen capitalizes on this in an effort to bring about reconciliation and peace to a family torn apart by bitterness and guilt; a family where two sisters are united solely by a dark secret and the need to hide a terrible truth.

CAST

PRODUCTION

ElsieSandy Knight
ShirleySue Bartlett
MaureenLiz McNally
SandraDeborah Addicott
KathleenRebecca Moore

The Regis Players
Play A Cupboard Under The Stairs

Reviewed by: Jose Harrison
Venue: Felpham Village Hall
Type of Production: Play
Director: Philip Amor

SHOW REPORT

Many of us have a cupboard under the stairs. A place to keep our hoover, perhaps our coats and shoe polish etc. but very few of us look upon it as a retreat. A haven from the outside world. This very moving and all absorbing piece of drama, written and directed by the husband and wife team Deborah and Philip Amor, is set around the cupboard in the home of granny, her two daughters, her granddaughter and a lodger. Granny played by Sandy Knight showed many signs of the onslaught of old age with some memory loss. She was slightly cantankerous and disliked being a dependant in the hands of her eldest daughter. She was everything one would expect of an elderly person who resents the passing of time. In Act two she became a delight to watch after too much imbibing at the wedding and incredibly moving when memories of the past flooded in. Her eldest daughter, Shirley, (Sue Bartlett) showed great variation between exasperation and concern for everyone. She felt that she was responsible for all, trying to provide the strength for the whole family but really was as much in need of support as the others. She gave a totally convincing performance as did her step-sister Maureen (Liz McNally), a recovering alcoholic who had been abused, by her father, as a child. Deborah Addicott played Sandra, the granddaughter. The play is set on her wedding day and her portrayal of a completely unbalanced young person rushing into a disastrous marriage was outstanding. She showed all the signs of a very disturbed character in every respect where as the lodger (Rebecca Moore) was a complete enigma. She gently sorted them all out without any expression or emotion. All five members of the cast of this very ‘meaty’ production gave outstanding performances. The pauses were the most ‘speaking’ part of this brilliantly performed play.

 

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