Theatre at Baddow
They say "smorgasbord" I say "bran tub".
Four very different pieces [I loved the individual poster design for each one – uncredited, as far as I could see], each with some moments to savour.
Kelly McGibney's Beth, scoffing the Pringles on her hotel bed as vacation chaos relentlessly erupts around her, in Joe Kennedy's farcical chunk of California Suite. If Tarantino did Whitehall farce ...
The chilling final minute of The Edge, directed by John Mabey. It's a patchy little play, with too much exposition but some nicely spooky psychological twists. And that dénouement faultlessly handled by Mike Nower and Roger Saddington.
Helen Quigley's choice was Joining The Club, a clever piece of social observation which managed to get its laughs despite some indistinct, under-pointed dialogue.
In By The Half is Jimmie Chinn's wryly affectionate look at an ageing actress [Sara Nower excellent as the haughty, dotty Thorndike figure] and her grumpy dresser [Barbara Llewellyn]. Joanna Windley-Poole directed, and also played the estranged daughter who has sad news to impart.
An entertaining, varied evening, with something for everyone, raising funds for UNICEF and providing a chance for a dozen talented actors to have their turn in the limelight.