May 2012 – The Haunted Through Lounge and Recessed Dining Nook at Farndale Castle

The full title of this play by David McGillivray and Walter Zerlin Jnr is ‘The Haunted Through Lounge And Recessed Dining Nook At Farndale Castle. It is one of a series of plays supposedly written by ‘Farndale Avenue Townswomen’s Guild Dramatic Society’ and the humour depends upon the degree of incompetence inflicted upon the audience.

I make no pretence at explaining the plot as too many things went wrong to enable much comprehension except in the broadest terms. A couple were eloping and their car broke down and they ask for help at a haunted castle and spent the night there.

Most of the fun comes from sound effects or items being misplaced, the case of the disappearing suitcases being a hilarious example. Congratulations to the back stage staff for all these were spot on.

In addition all parts were played by ladies with the exception of the producer Graeme Tunbridge who appeared in the Prologue only which was a last minute rehearsal. A critic has difficulty with this type of entertainment since praise can only be given by saying how bad the acting was and how miscast they all were.

June (Margaret Bishop) was supposed to be seventeen!!! And her lover was Marty (Madeline Reeve) with a phony Teutonic accent.

Theresa Hallahan was the head of the guild and personified the person you wished to avoid at all costs.

Rachel Tunbridge played many parts and I enjoyed her bringing her baby on stage because it had wind.

Naomi Swift was a neurotic maid and the real Director was Ros Tunbridge.

Reviewed by Peter Steptoe