Report by: Peter Parlour (NODA Rep. District 6) on 23 March 2013 Venue: Georgian Theatre Royal, Richmond Director: Amanda Heitler
This was a different play, not what we usually expect from Alan Ayckbourn, being a light-hearted comedy, very entertaining, with a slight touch of farce here and there, and is probably one of his lesser known plays. The story of the play centres around three old ladies who are telling the stories, and a group of Players who act them out. It could even be classed as a Panto. The first play, for example, was Hansel and Gretel, and was quite hilarious, with the actors presenting the articles that the Storytellers were talking about. Each of the stories was very different. Poor Fred, played by Stewart Kerr, took some time to understand what was going on, which added to the entertainment. He was very good, and coped well with the situation. He could not understand why the wait till the Players arrived, but when the Storytellers arrived they had to be on their very best behaviour.
The first story was given by Lynne Kerr who played Aunt Erraticus very well indeed. The second story was given by Linda Baldry, who played Aunt Oblivious, again very well played, her character was quite different to the others, at times she could have been asleep [in the part].
After the interval we had the last story given by Jackie McLeod who played Great-Aunt Repetitus, again very well presented. This Aunt was the main story teller, and really ruled the roost. The Players had two men amongst them. Martin Ash, who played Albert, had trouble getting the correct tools in the first play, which was most amusing. There were five Players, Bethany, played by Jennifer Roberts, who in one scene was galloping on and off the stage. Nell was played by Beki Harrison, Alex Caffrey took Talitha, and Billy Gaines played Jenkin, the other man, who was in most of the stories, and how well he and everybody played. The make-up was excellent, particularly with the Storytellers. It was a very entertaining play, I would imagine there was quite a few there who, like me, didn’t know what to expect. I enjoyed it. Well done RADS.
Aunts Erraticus and Oblivious and bossy Great Aunt Repetitus, the dusty, eccentric story-tellers in 'This Is Where We Came In' are ancient, weary and bad-tempered. The characters in their stories are trapped, their every action and thought determined by the all-powerful story-tellers. This is the story of their rebellion.
AlanAyckbourn presents a brilliant satire on dramatic art, on the unreliability of story-tellers and the resilience of character over plot. A superb play for all the family, Ayckbourn takes theatrical risks to challenge the imagination of young and old, as the players perform delightfully comic, twisted and often absurd versions of well-known fairy tales.