The Mill at Sonning
0118 969 8000
Sonning Eye, Reading, RG4 6TY.
My Fair Lady, 23rd November to 27th January
By Lerner and Loewe. The story of Eliza Dolittle – the Cockney flower girl who speaks in ‘yowls’ and not ‘vowels’, plucked off the streets of London by the arrogant Professor Higgins declaring he can pass her off as a Duchess in six months – has rightfully captivated audiences for decades. Add to this an unforgettable score including songs Wouldn’t It Be Loverly?, On The Street Where You Live, I Could Have Danced All Night and Get Me To the Church On Time and My Fair Lady’s phenomenal success worldwide is readily understood.
The Hound of the Baskervilles, 1st February to 17th March
By Arthur Conan Doyle. Sir Charles Baskerville dies in mysterious circumstances. A look of fear and terror on his face. Legend has it there is a curse on the family – a curse in the form of a gigantic, ferocious, glowing Hound of Hell – that brings death to each successive head of the Baskerville family. And when Sir Henry Baskerville returns from overseas to claim his inheritance and property on the treacherous terrain of darkest Dartmoor, he calls on the renowned Sherlock Holmes to help him solve the mystery of his uncle’s violent death. Is there really a revenge-seeking Hound? Or are there other evil motives at work? Holmes and Watson’s most chilling case is brought imaginatively to the stage in the style of the West End hit The 39 Steps. This legendary plot has been given a new life by father and son team, Simon and Tam Williams. You will be shocked. And scared. As well as amused. And entertained. As this intriguing story full of horror and thrills unfolds before you.
Review of Perfect Wedding
28th September to 18th November 2017.
Review from the Newbury Weekkly News.
Marital mayhem at the Mill
Great comic timing provides two hours of entertainment
Perfect Wedding, at The Mill at Sonning, until November 18
Not a good start on his wedding day when a bridegroom wakes up in the bridal suite of a posh hotel with an attractive, naked woman in bed beside him.
With splendid comic timing throughout, Kikki Lawton, as Bill, leaps out of bed and yells "Who are you?" at the unfortunate young woman. "Don't you know?" she asks. His next question is "Did we?", but Carta Freeman as Judy, with an expression of bemusement, is surprised to find that he doesn't know that either.
Time is moving along though and his bride, Rachel, nicely underplayed by Lucy Heath, is due to arrive at the hotel any minute. Best man Tom, a good comic characterisation by Joseph Timms, arrives next and is distressed when Bill bullies him into saying that the girl in the bed is his girlfriend. But as Judy retreats into the bathroom and chambermaid Julie (Finty Williams) enters the bedroom by another door, the hapless Tom mistakes her for the girlfriend and begins persuading her to keep up the pretence.
But hang on, there's yet another complication… Judy, who Tom hasn't seen yet, actually is his girlfriend.
And there we have the ingredients for the opening act of a typical farce, which the actors play to the hilt, with swift, crisp movement in and out of doors and lots of fast talking and misunderstandings galore. There is some first class ensemble acting here from the six players, not forgetting Elizabeth Elvin as the bride's mother, who takes her daughter to one side and comforts her, murmuring "Men, they're all the same".
This was a very funny, fast-moving farce, with plenty of humorous lines. When somebody goes missing, Tom says that she has gone off in a huff. "Why?" asks Julie. "Were there no trains?"
Two parts were particularly long and rewarding – Bill the groom and Julie the chambermaid – and both Rikki Lawton and Finty Williams were excellent in their portrayals with the rest of the cast supporting extremely well.
Elizabeth Elvin had lots of opportunity to play a sympathetic mother of the bride and did so consistently.
Robin Hawdon's play is very well structured and, in spite of the convoluted plot, still managed to resolve satisfactorily in the end. Ron Aldridge's fast-paced direction ensured a thoroughly entertaining two hours of theatre.
For more details
see the Mill's web site at www.millatsonning.com.
Reviews in the Archive
Spider's Web (July 2017)
Improbable Fiction (March 2017)
Dead Simple (January 2017)
High Society (November 2016)
The Hollow (July 2016)
Last of the Red Hot Lovers (March 2016)
The Perfect Murder (January 2016)
Stepping Out (November 2015)
Round and Round the Garden (October 2015)
Love, Loss, and What I Wore (August 2015)
Killjoy (May 2015)
Educating Rita (January 2015)
Last Confessions of a Scallywag (July 2014)