Review by Geoffrey Wildey
Snake in the Grass by Alan Ayckbourn
Performed by Teignmouth Players at The Ice Factory Studio Theatre
“Snake in the Grass” at The Ice Factory Studio Theatre, Teignmouth from 25thto 29thSeptember, was a great play that really kept the audience anticipating how it would end. It was certainly in a different “plot” style to other Alan Ayckbourn plays.
The director, John Miles, definitely pulled out all the dramatic twists possible to make this play work and create the atmosphere this play needed.
The above would not have been complete without the trio of accomplished actresses. Top of my list goes Karen Allen for her performance as Annabel Chester, the sister who emigrated to Tasmania to escape an abusive father, she conveyed every mood swing required in this dramatic role, which in parts, many actresses would have tended to overact but Karen’s control was near perfect. The only alteration I would have liked would have been some “Tasmanian” accent.
Very close behind with a most convincing portrayal of the over-burdened sister was Nichola Aldridge (making her debut with Teignmouth Players – I hope it won’t be her last). She played Miriam Chester taking the audience with her through her life of painful drudgery caring for her abusive father, until the final twist.
Last, but by no means least, Esther O’Brien showed her acting craft to perfection in the smaller but equally important role as the scheming nurse, Alice Moody.
The multi set was skilfully designed giving a striking feeling of depth plus extremely clever décor for this small acting area. Daniel Saint had created some most effective atmospheric lighting with some mysterious sound effects by Ken Swan, which all added to the success of this production. Anyone who missed it failed to see a wonderful piece of theatre.