Tuesday, January 14, 1986

One of the best in twenty years


Troupe – Mercury Studio

Troupe is an amateur theatre company formed to present small-scale plays of merit. It draws its members from a wide area; all of them work for other local groups.
Eddie Mackay, the group’s inspiration, has directed many successful productions for Chelmsford Theatre Workshop and Braintree Opera.
Troupe’s second production, David Storey’s Home, was presented recently in the Mercury Studio.
It was one of the best amateur productions I have seen in twenty years.
Under Eddie Mackay’s direction, the excellent cast achieved a level of ensemble playing that many regional repertory companies might envy.
Set in the grounds of a mental hospital, the play is a formidable undertaking, The meaning and the mood are buried beneath superficially banal exchanges between a quartet of patients.
Robin Warnes, well known for his work with Latchingdon and Little Baddow amongst others, played Jack. It was a moving performance, the tragedy thinly disguised beneath the suave exterior. His friend Narry was Tony Saitta, who made a totally convincing old gentleman.
The loud ladies who interrupt their elegy for the old England were imaginatively interprested by Sara Green as Kathleen and Barbara Pears as Marjoie, who gave a performance that was a masterpiece of observation – every gesture, every expression contributing to this sympathetic study of mental disorder. The cast was completed by Rupert Jones as a monosyllabic youth.
Troupe are fortunate to have such a showcase for their talents, especially in this piece, where the mood could easily be broken by insensitive lighting or a tacky set.

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