"Brilliant! First time I've ever watched anything in the round, but wonderfully done! Well Done!"
"Good fun - excellent mid-week tonic"
"Really enjoyed this wonderful production. Full marks to all who took part"
"Absolutely brilliant! First time audience - will definetly return"
You're Only Young Twice - NODA Feedback
Society: Hoghton Players
Show/date: You’re Only Young Twice, 26/04/14
Venue: Hoghton Village Hall
Director: Millie Santus
Reviewer: Lloyd Bamber
You’re Only Young Twice by Ron Aldridge is a funny and thought provoking play. It is about a troublesome gentleman ‘Brooksie’ who is causing many a problem for his daughter ‘Sue’ and son-in-law ‘Richard’ by acting like a teenager. Staying out too late, playing music too loud and spending most of the day in bed are just some of the issues. A recent widower, he and his friends from the over 60’s club recapture their youth, while he constantly seeks approval from his late wife ‘Grace’ nearly getting barred from the over 60’s club in the process. This comedy play illustrates the motto ‘you’re as young as you feel’ and after a late out you certainly start feeling your age. The Hoghton Players version of this with central staging and the audience sitting on all four sides would be one to make Ron Aldridge proud. With every comedy moment articulated well and heard by all, this production was very well received.
While we took our seats, weaving our way between a sofa and a dining table, it became clear that this was the stage for this performance. I also noticed across the room the gleaming Harley Davidson that the company had somehow managed to loan, to which was a great addition to the staging. This in turn set the tone to what was set to be a magnificent evening.
The opening of the play was a near on typical Saturday evening for many parents with a teenager, sat up waiting in the window and worrying when they will return home from their night out but of course, the first laugh came when an older gentleman came strolling through the door wearing motorbike leathers and a helmet. The scenario continues, with what was set to be the constant dressing-down from Richard (Played by Steve Catterall) but this is combated by quick wit and humour of Brooksie (David Lloyd) and of course the defensive nature of Sue (Anne Marie Flood), which irritated him more. The gang of terrorists as they were referred to as, soon followed in the shape of three other friends from the over 60’s club, namely Tom (Andy Burke), Julia (Irene Ingham) and Rosie (Carol McCann).
There was a laugh a minute throughout the show with my favourite part, finding out that the wedding of Tom and Julia was still on after an eventful morning. The wedding was set to be ruined after an alcohol fuelled stag night caused some drunken advice from Brooksie to Tom causing him to reconsider his position with Julia. Then there was the surprising news that Rose’s drunken babble to Julia on the hen night cast doubts over her future plans in turn with Tom. After finding out both had received the same advice, the pair soon realised that both wanted the same things in life and the wedding was soon back on. Brooksie’s personality finally captured the heart of Rose and they agreed to a first date. This was all down to the advice from Grace (Carol Hawkins), to let his guard down and show Rose his true colours. So the happy ending availed, after the whole day was set to be a disaster for all involved, just a short time earlier.
Overall this play was fabulous. The way of staging, in a round, was a brave move by The Hoghton Players, as the expression and movement of every character could be observed within such a close proximity. They didn’t disappoint as they proved when done correctly it could add to the whole theatrical experience. Not having the façade of a stage and having to perform at 360 degrees meant the set had to be thought about carefully and it was, it was well placed, the lighting was not over powering and the direction of the play was cleverly done. The cast never had their back to the audience for too long, constantly moving around. The front of house team where friendly and attended to everyone’s needs, personally seating people. The evening was thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining. I am looking forward to seeing the society perform again later in the year.