Mortimer Dramatic Society
Night Must Fall, 26th to 27th May and 2nd to 3rd June
When Dan, a charming, smooth-talking hotel porter arrives unexpectedly at old Mrs Bramsom’s remote woodland home he soon ingratiates his way into her life and that of her niece Olivia. But when a local woman goes missing and rumours of murder among the household surface in the press, fingers begin to point towards the dashing hotel porter. Has the past finally caught up with Dan and could he really be capable of murder? As the police close in, and with the press baying for blood, is anyone safe? Master playwright Emlyn Williams’ renowned psychological thriller has all the tension, atmosphere and suspicion of the best British mysteries. It will leave you at the edge of your seat.
St John's Hall, 22 West End Road, Mortimer Common, RG7 3TF.
Book online via the website or call Tom on 0778 533 3321 or Terri Chopping on 0118 966 2206.
Review of The Small Hours
21st to 22nd October and 28th to 29th October 2016
Review from Newbury Theatre.
You can rely on Francis Durbridge for a good thriller, and The Small Hours is no exception. Carl is on a flight from Sydney to London, which gets hijacked. He’s slightly injured but manages to save Ronnie who was sitting next to him. The rest of the play takes place in Carl’s office/living-room at the hotel he runs near Chichester. It gets increasingly complicated as George, a detective who knows more than he’s letting on, questions Carl about a seemingly irrelevant koala toy, which may or may not have been in his hand luggage, destroyed during the hijacking. The hotel chef Bernard has been playing away and is planning to leave; Carl’s wife Vanessa gets shot at, apparently in an attempt to kill Carl; Carl’s cousin Oliver isn’t as innocent as he seems, and a masked stranger dies while trying to knife Carl.
A fairly typical week for most of us, in fact.
The play is divided into ten scenes, and each one ends with a twist that prompts a surprised “oooh” from the audience. Vintage Durbridge.
Darren Reed is excellent as Carl, the main character. A confident performance as he deals with the increasing complex and often inexplicable things that happen to him. Nick Pounder is assertive and assured (albeit slightly creepy) as George and James Burton Stewart is very good as the urbane but slippery Oliver. Sam Foad is believably devious as Bernard, and Phil Collins is an anxious and frantic (perhaps a bit too frantic) Ronnie.
There were strong performances from Cathy Ramsell as Carl’s wife Vanessa and Kim Antell as the efficient office manager Ruth. I particularly liked Sara Roper’s realistic portrayal of Millie, Bernard’s hard-done-by wife.
John Bull’s modern set was ideal for the play and director Tom Shorrock used it to good effect.
This fast moving play demands a pace to match, and Mortimer Dramatic got it just right in this well acted and very enjoyable production.
Up Pompeii, 20th to 21st January and 27th to 28th January 2017
The Small Hours, 21st to 22nd October and 28th to 29th October 2016
Death By Design, 27th to 28th May and 3rd to 4th June 2016
'Allo 'Allo, 22nd to 30th January 2016
Beyond a Joke, 23rd to 24th October and 30th to 31st October 2015. See the review in the archive.
Kindertransport, 29th to 30th May and 5th to 6th June 2015
Deathtrap, 17th to 18th October and 24th to 25th October 2014. See the review in the archive.
Third Week in August, 30th to 31st May and 6th to 7th June 2014. See the review in the archive.
Murder Mystery Dinner Evening, 17th to 18th January and 24th to 25th January 2014
Kindly Keep It Covered, 18th to 26th October 2013. See the review in the archive.
Calendar Girls, 31st May to 1st June and 7th to 8th June 2013
Entertaining Angels, 19th to 20th October and 26th to 27th October 2012
Natural Causes, 21st to 22nd and 28th to 29th October 2011.
See the review in the Archive.
Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, 27th to 28th May and 3rd to 4th June 2011
The Amorous Ambassador, 22nd to 23rd and 29th to 30th October 2010. See the review in the Archive.
The Day After The Fair, 28th to 29th May and 4th to 5th June 2010
Another Opening, Another Show, 15th to 16th, 20th and 22nd to 23rd January 2010
Dead Man’s Hand, 29th to 30th May and 5th to 6th June 2009. See the review in the Archive.
The Cemetery Club, 24th to 25th October and 31st October to 1st November 2008
Hobson’s Choice, 30th to 31st May and 6th to 7th June 2008
A Murder Has Been Arranged, 25th to 26th May and 1st to 2nd June 2007. See the review in the Archive.
A Breath of Spring, 2nd to 3rd and 9th to 10th June 2006
Curtains, 21st, 22nd, 28th and 29th October 2005. See the review in the Archive.
The Real Inspector Hound and Black Comedy, 29th to 30th April and 6th to 7th May 2005
The Shakespeare Revue, 21st, 22nd, 28th and 29th January 2005
The Deep Blue Sea, 22nd, 23rd, 29th and 30th October 2004. See the reviews in the Archive.
Comic Potential, 30th April, 1st, 7th and 8th May 2004. See the reviews in the Archive.
Take Away The Lady, 24th, 25th and 31st October and 1st November 2003.
Local Affairs, 2nd, 3rd, 9th, 10th May 2003. See the review in the Archive.
Quartet, 18th, 19th, 25th, 26th October 2002. See the review in the Archive.
The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen's Guild Dramatic Society's Production Of Macbeth, 10th, 11th, 17th and 18th May 2002. See the review in the Archive.
Abigail's Party, 18th, 19th, 25th and 26th January 2002. See the review in the Archive.
Educating Rita, 19th, 20th, 26th, 27th October 2001. See the review in the Archive.
Spring and Port Wine, 4th, 5th, 11th and 12th May 2001. See the review in the Archive.