Caldbeck Players : Wife After Death : A Report
Caldbeck Players presented Wife After Death, a comedy by Eric Chappell, in Caldbeck Parish Hall on 15, 16 and 17 November. A year previously, in Tom, Dick and Harry, Ken Woolfenden had lain unconscious in a wheelbarrow and Jennifer Collard had fallen through a window not once but three times. As redoubtable performers in Wife After Death Ken Woolfenden and Jennifer Collard again willingly suffered for their art. Ken had the ashes of the deceased tossed over him not once but twice and Jennifer fell through the french window into the garden although this time only once.
The theme of the play was the effect of the death of Dave Thursby, a comedian and national treasure, on those who had surrounded him in life. Mandy Jackson as Laura Thursby was an assured and convincing half merry widow in her glamorous mourning dress. Tim Cartmell, always watchable in another of those entertaining parts where with his prodigious memory he rarely left the stage, was Harvey Barratt who had been the deceased’s unappreciated scriptwriter. Jennifer Collard played the part of Harvey’s wife Vi and, adaptable as always, conducted part of her performance from under the table in the middle of the stage. Ken Woolfenden appeared gloomily as the money minded Kevin Prewitt who had been the deceased’s agent and Jane Simpson patiently as his long suffering wife Jane Prewitt. Pat Shaw was Kay the unexpected first (and perhaps only) wife of the deceased from the past with her constant knowing smile.
All the cast had been affected by the deceased during his life in different ways (although as became apparent in the case of the women mainly in the same way) and in unexpected and disconcerting ways by revelations following his death. All six actors were utterly convincing in their different roles with strongly defined individual characteristics.
At the beginning the curtains drew back to reveal a room in the house which was visually very attractive with its colourful walls and furnishings and in particular an enchanting garden visible through the french window which had been painted by Rebecca Brockbank. The Players are fortunate to have such expert set builders together with all the other experts backstage in charge of lighting, sound, costumes, make up, props and prompting who are essential for every production.
And particular thanks are due to Pauline Woolfenden who inspired and produced such a well balanced and entertaining performance from all the talented cast and without whom none of it would have happened.
The next production is scheduled for March 28, 29 and 30. Anyone not already on the mailing list who would like to be involved with the Players either on or off the stage is asked to get in touch with the Secretary, Veronica Stockdale.
Telephone 016974 76035 or Email firstname.lastname@example.org