June 5, 2019
Daisy Pulls it Off
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.