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June 5, 2019

Daisy Pulls it Off

November 2019

DAISY PULLS IT OFF REVIEW

Could Daisy pull it off? Well she did, and so did West Meon Theatre at Meonstoke Village

Hall, with audience viewing much enhanced by raked seating.

‘A spiffingly good comedy, fabulous fun for all ‘ the blurb promised. Gosh Golly! It certainly

fulfilled that promise. The fun actually began as the ‘girls’ mingled with the audience as they quaffed their pre performance drinks. ln this enlightened world we have come to accept many things but a ‘girl’ with a grey beard and hair and another with a blue chin raised the eyebrow a wee bit! Could this work? Well it jolly well did and famously.

Bullying off to a cracking start the audience were ordered to their feet by the Headmistress

of Grangewood School, Miss Gibson (Hazel Town) and asked to join in the morning Assembly hymns. Then the cast set us off on a journey of great entertainment.

With only a minimal set, innovative use was made of two mobile step platforms.  These were variously employed as stairs, school stage and even a perilous cliff pathway. Quick costume changes and cover ups enabled several character changes. Miss Gibson became Dora Johnson, Winnie lrving (Bernie Lomas) became Miss Granville . Grey bearded Belinda Matheson (Stuart Forsyth) transformed into Mr Thompson the gardener and then into Daisy’s Father. Upper Fourth Girl (Glynn Williams) became Mr Scowbloski. This latter twist added an element of farce to the comedy.

Imaginative touches with both cast and props included the ‘girls’ becoming a wall bearing

the portraits of the Beaumont family ancestors. Suitcases as seats formed separate

compartments in the train bringing the girls back from hols. A dramatic cliff top rescue

employing the ubiquitous steps and knotted bed sheets was inspired and splendidly

enacted by the cast.

The Dynamic Due of Daisy (Fi Beresford) and her ‘Jolly Hockey Sticks’ friend and supporter

Trixie Martin (Katie Jacobs) shone with sympathy and enthusiasm; a real team against the

prejudice of the other scholars led by Sybil Burlington (Rachel Wells) aided and abetted by

her simpering sidekick Monica Smithers (Jack Porter)

Of many memorable moments one was the cleverly choreographed ‘Hockey Finals’ match

with a bravura performance by Becky James as Head of Games, Claire Beaumont, ably

backed by her heroine worshipping Alice Fitzpatrick (Denise Truscott)

Mention must be made of Musical Director Peter Theobald momentarily leaving the

keyboard for a cameo appearance in a swirl of fuchsia silk and feathers as ‘Mademoiselle’.

You should have put your son on the stage Mrs Theobald!

With an excellent cast skilfully directed by Suzanne Hall this was a really good piece of

comedy theatre that was rightly rewarded with much laughter and applause from delighted

sell out audiences.

 

Michael Major