Talking Heads a comedy field at Court Theatre

IT’S a busy couple of weeks at The Court Theatre with the Berkhamsted Theatre Company opening the batting with the cricketing comedy Outside Edge.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 14th April 2012, 9:00 am

Set in a cricket pavilion, Outside Edge deals with an eventful Saturday afternoon in the lives of a local team. Roger struggles to keep his team together, while the wives and girlfriends of his players help and hinder to devastating and hilarious effect.

Whilst ostensibly about cricket, this perennial favourite, which was a smash hit sitcom on TV in the 1990s, is actually about relationships - and with his cracking comic script Richard Harris is soon lifting the lid on all manner of angst and extra-marital shenanigans among the lead characters.

Running from Wednesday (18th) until Saturday.

The Frayed Knot Theatre Company also look to television for inspiration when they present pieces from Alan Bennett’s popular Talking Heads series, from Wednesday, April 25 to 28.

Written especially for the BBC the observational monologues were originally performed by the most famous character actors of a generation, including Julie Walters, Maggie Smith, Thora Hird and Patricia Routledge.

The first series produced an array of extraordinary characters drawn from Alan Bennett’s sharp and poignant observation of human character.

The monologues, each appearing once a week, amazed the TV watching public and they remain some of the most vivid and powerful monologues in English drama writing (later included for study in the A Level syllabus).

The Court Theatre presents possibly the three most popular monologues from the original series and each by a different actor and director:

A Chip In The Sugar performed by Andy Faber, directed by Mike Code

Her Big Chance performed by Fiona Quilter-Wood, directed by Lindsay Stafford-Smith

A Cream Cracker UnderThe Settee performed by Lindsay Stafford-Smith, directed by Naomi Glasser

Observing social taboos and bigotry theses monologues shows how easily these infiltrate and affect ordinary peoples’ lives. Poignant, occasionally sad, and yet conveyed with humour they are nothing short of first-rate entertainment.

Lindsay Stafford-Smith will also contribute a short selection of her own pieces to the evening. A mixture of song, monologues, satire and comic ‘doggerel’, Lindsay has professionally performed her work on BBC Radio and in theatre.

Frayed Knot Theatre Company, one of the top community drama groups in Hertfordshire has produced some cracking (and often uniquely staged!) productions in recent years including The History Boys, The 39 Steps, See How They Run and The Titfield Thunderbolt.

Producer Naomi Glasser says: “I remember the impact that these playlets had when they were first shown on TV. They have amazing power hidden behind such subtle and heartfelt writing.

“The power of Bennett’s writing transfers wonderfully to the stage. Each piece is a thrilling event of character exposure and declaration.”

For tickets and more information about both plays call the box office 07543 560 478 or go online www.courttheatre.co.uk.