Confusion reigns for Gainford drama club (Teesdale Mercury)

Gainford Drama Club continued their successful run of comedies with this enticing and amusing Alan Ayckbourn masterpiece, “Confusions”.

This series of plays typifies his black comedies of human behaviour. The plays are alternately naturalistic, stylised and farcical, but underlying each is the problem of loneliness.

And the Gainford players admirably and skilfully, albeit slightly falteringly at times, carried this off with aplomb, enjoying every “confusing” minute, to create a whole which was laugh-out-loud enjoyable and thoroughly entertaining.

It would be wrong to single out characters as each made the whole wonderfully entertaining. The cast included Iris Hillery, Claire Bell, Lawrence Chandler, Barrington Wearmouth, Michael Sillars, Veronica Lowery, Paul Illingworth, Joan White, Allan Jones, Chris Allcock and Paul Richardson.

Humour in triplicate at Gainford (Darlington & Stockton Times)

Three tales of wicked humour brought delight to the audience as Gainford Drama Club put on their second play of the year.

Confusions, by Alan Ayckbourn, is a collection of unrelated mini-plays which all reach hilarious and energetic finales. Eleven actors starred in Gain-ford”s version, performed at the village Academy.

Successful productions have been pouring out of the Academy for 57 years and this year”s offering in no way bucks the trend.

The first in the trio, Mother Figure, is held together by the often erratic Lucy, played superbly by Iris Hillery.

Lucy cannot help but be a mother, and when a married couple from next door come round to visit, she can”t get out of her maternal mould, much to the shock of her visitors, played by Claire Bell and Lawrence Chandler.

There were some cases of first-night forgetfulness from the actors, but on the whole the dialogue flowed sharply, much to the delight of the audience.

The second play, Between Mouthfuls, starts off as a seemingly harmless scene, where two couples are dining. As the action switches between the two tables, the plot becomes thicker and the two narratives merge.

Barrington Wearmouth is excellent as the waiter quiet and unassuming waiter, who just can”t help put his foot in it.

If the second play is all about slick dialogue, the third offers the audience more slapstick humour. Gosforth”s Fete tells the story of what seems to be a typical British summer fair. That is, until Gosforth, played by Allan Jones, accidentally relays a private conversation over the public address system.

In typical British fashion Gosforth insists the show must go on, despite his fair falling down around him.

Joan White was convincing as the pompous councillor Mrs Pearce, and Chris Allcock pleased the audience as the eccentric vicar.