"Wicked! Nice to see new faces in the players and of course the brilliant "old" ones"
"Am Dram at its best! Thoroughly enjoyable. A challenging play extremely well executed - Well Done"
"Excellent performance. So glad I managed to book seats having travelled from Scotland to visit friends locally and found your website"
"Absolutely brilliant - thoroughly enjoyed it - up to the usual standards"
"Well it was worth the trip from Walsall - Very funny...."
Mixing death and deception with a heavy dose of dark comedy is not an easy task - and a bold move for any amateur dramatics company.
But the Hoghton Players’ production of Eric Chappell’s Natural Causes, directed by Kath Fleet, was a hilarious success.
The chemistry between the cast, which lends credibility to some rather far-fetched scenarios, is at its most obvious in the witty back and forth that consistently had audiences in stitches.
It quickly becomes apparent that Vincent Vincent (played by Brian Hoyle) has a sinister aim in mind when he arrives at the mansion shared by Walter Bryce (Peter Howarth) and his wife Celia (Ruth Jones).
Just as evident, however, is that this plan will not go smoothly.
Both Vincent, an assisted suicide “consultant”, and the audience are left wondering who is really pulling the strings and crucially, who is actually going to drink his potion?
The scheming secretary Angie (Rebecca Cohen) adds an extra layer of mystery and confusion as events unfold, while the comic present of the Samaritan (Ian Murray) helps to lighten the play’s darker moments and keep audiences smiling.
It is an ambitious play that tackles a controversial subject - euthanasia - while trying to remain upbeat and entertaining.
It is a tough ask of the cast - who had a mountain of lines to learn each - but a challenge they all rise to in style.
The dialogue is snappy with excellent comic timing, while producing the play in the round gives it a sense of intimacy that helps the audience connect with drama as it unfolds.
The attention to detail with the set was remarkable and praise must go to all those involved in bringing the play to life.
The result was a highly entertaining show that serves to prove that you don’t need to pay top dollar for a thoroughly enjoyable night at the theatre.