In a new independent slot for TG, Confusions aims to show just what you can do in theatre with little budget.
Alan Ayckbourn’s Confusions, telling five separate but interwoven stories, sees Theatre Group stripped back. With no tech and a relatively small space to use I went in apprehensive that they would pull it off but they provided moments of greatness with the expected first night hiccups.
In the first part of 5 named Mother Figure, Mel Brown puts on an excellent performance as Lucy, a somewhat deranged women, who after an unexpected visit from the nosy neighbours Rosemary and Terry (Olivia Clark and Alex Thomas) treats them like children with memories we can all relate to from our childhood. The set, though simple, displayed the chaos of a house full of children and I admire Mel’s movement on stage as the busy Mum. In something I haven’t seen TG do before the audience were asked to move to a second set for the next two instalments. Luke Nicholls was excellent as Harry, in his desperate attempts to woo perfume salesperson Paula (Jess Hector). Jess and Luke bounced off each other and the scene was improved even more by the cold yet hilarious companion to Paula played by Kae Yeobah.
The script can at times feel drawn out and while this is no fault of the production team towards the end of the second instalment it did begin to drag. I was quickly amused however by comedic excellence from Matt Roberts who plays the waiter in the third instalment Between Mouthfuls. Hearing the conversation from the eyes and ears of the waiter we meet two couples, Mr and Mrs Pearce (Alex Thomas and Emma Joy) and Martin Chalmers (Mike Cottrell) and his wife who has not been named in the programme which is a shame as she is one of the actors who really carried this instalment, I will commend the team who put the props together as actors are bought food that is somewhat edible.
The fourth instalment sees the cast depict the trials and tribulations of a village fete troubled by the great British weather, Inci Baysal plays Milly Carter excellently as the innocent and ditsy tea lady while Patrick Haste plays landlord Gordon Forsoth perfectly. Hamish Patel puts on a great performance as cubs leader Stewart Stokes but at times I feel the cast can try too hard to get laughs from the audience. All in all it was well put together and the use of dry ice depicting a broken speaker was a nice touch. The final instalment, which has to be my favourite seems Patel, Hannah Dutton, Cottrell, Yeobah and Nicholls play five different characters with five different stories to tell pestering each other on benches in a park. This scene really does show off the talent of the cast and I was really impressed with how seamlessly it was put together.
Confusion’s is a mixed bag of fun and laughs and has shown theatre doesn’t need to be flashy to be good.
Confusions is showing in Garden Court at 7:30pm Friday and Saturday and 2:30pm on Saturday. Audience capacity is limited to 35.