Posted October 24th, 2017

Posted October 10th, 2017

Posted September 26th, 2017

Posted August 29th, 2017

The Friends always look forward to meeting the cast and company of a Talking Scarlet production and this was certainly true of those assembled in the bar following the opening night of Body Double.  Over the years we have got used to summer ‘murder’ plays and this play written by Mark Carey and first performed in 2016 – while not having ‘murder’ in the title – was indeed another from that genre that would have you settle into your seat – or perch on the edge of it – and enjoy!

Body Double is a play within a play. The actors are actors, the set a set and – as we quickly learn – the play being rehearsed mirrors the life of those rehearsing it.  The whole play revolves around the concept of the body double – that is an actor who appears briefly on stage to cover for another who is making a quick change.  The audience watch the double believing them to be the main actor and then the lead appears again as someone else!

As the large first night audience watched this latest offering from Pat Kearns and his Talking Scarlet team – with all but one of the actors familiar faces at the DPT, they were busy concentrating on the many twists and turns of the plot and those Friends who were looking forward to meeting those on stage in the bar afterwards had no inkling of the sobering news that was to be imparted to them later that evening.

Talking Scarlet has a good following amongst those Friends who regularly attend the first night bar receptions and indeed this was the case on this warm early August evening.  It was so good to see our Patron, John Hester, so often associated with Talking Scarlet and Philip Stewart who was directing the play as well as Pat and his five-strong cast.

Clockwise from top left: Davis Palmer, Ross Waiton, Philip Stewart, Katy Dean, Freya Copeland, Patric Kearns, Marcus Hutton

We are all grateful to the very emotional Patric for taking the opportunity to share the devastating news about the future of his company.  We all know that theatre is an industry of precarious finances but it is indeed sobering when difficulties hit so close to home.  For many, Talking Scarlet are part of the DPT family and collectively we wish Patric and all the many actors who have appeared in his productions and whom we have got to know and love over the years all the very best for the future, whatever it brings!

Posted July 4th, 2017

This clever play by Richard Bean, adapted from the original commedia dell’arte play by Carlo Goldoni, is the epitome of comic theatre – and perhaps a bit like marmite, you either love it or hate it!  That was certainly the mixed view of the Friends who gathered in the theatre bar after watching the play in a packed auditorium on Friends’ night.  But what a brilliant choice for a fun summer production it turned out to be. With Chris Jordan at the helm, perhaps a little reminder of what we have in store in panto season!

Chris and Talking Scarlet had assembled such a talented cast of actor-musicians it would be difficult to single out particular individuals, although special mention has to be made of Aiden O’Neill who brought his own take on Francis Henshall, the character made so famous at the National Theatre by James Corden and then there was poor Peter Lovstrom – regularly seen recently on the DPT stage – as the hapless servant Alfie who was to take many a tumble into the orchestra pit!  So good too to see Patric Kearns – clean shaven with short back and sides – as the wheeler-dealer Charlie Clench!

The skiffle group formed from this gifted cast and company was inspirational.  They regaled the audience during the scene changes with music that – all bar one piece we were told – dated to the year 1963.  A real visit down memory lane for so many in the audience. This may have lengthened what was already a marathon, but worth every moment for entertainment value!

There was a little nervousness amongst the Friends waiting in a bar packed to capacity to meet the cast, but It was such a delight to meet and chat to them all.

Posted June 13th, 2017

There must be a reason why Trespass has not been staged for seventy years, despite it being a play from the pen of outstanding playwright, Emlyn Williams – who has such works as Night Must Fall and The Grass is Green to his name.  Perhaps the audience at the DPT on the first night of this Talking Scarlet production found out why!

This ghost story, written in 1947 – a post-war period when the country was coming to terms with bereavement on an enormous scale – deals with the shady area between life and death when minor aristocrat, Christine (played by our lovely Michelle Morris) is struggling to come to terms with the death of her second husband and is seeking a way of communicating with him.  Into her life walks – or rather arrives by boat for the ancestral home is on a remote island (remind you of a Christie story?) – a pair of charlatans posing as mediums – or is one of them for real?  With some tremendous acting performances and excellent mood changing lighting and music (what more would one expect from a play directed by Patric Kearns) it is good – if at times somewhat slow – entertainment.

Back: Jeremy Lloyd-Thomas, Ian Crowe, Jason Marc-Williams
Front: David Callister, Michelle Morris, Katy Dean, Judy Buxton

It was with mixed feelings that the Friends waited in the theatre bar to welcome the cast after this first night performance but with so many old friends among the cast any uneasiness was quickly dispelled and the conversation flowed.  It was so lovely to see them all back again at the DPT and we are always so grateful for the time that they give to us.  We look forward to welcoming many of them back later in the year.

“On the edge of our seats” doesn’t adequately describe the roller-coaster of thrills and plot twists in Kiss of Death, by Simon Williams – a writer with a remarkable list of credits from Spooks, Sense & Sensibility and Dr Who!

Another gripping drama brought to the DPT stage by Talking Scarlet with their Artistic Director, Patric Kearns at the helm.  The four strong cast, including father and daughter David and Ciara Janson, aided by outstanding technical support from the backstage crew, gave powerful performances for this quietly sinister play.

Back row: Davies Palmer, David Janson & Peter Lovstrom with Ciara Janson in front centre.

It is always such a treat to welcome Patric and his Talking Scarlet company to the bar following their first night.

It is always with eager anticipation that a DPT audience awaits the start of a production from Creative Cow – for they always live up to their name.  This time is was with a clever adaptation by our Patron, the multi-talented Clive Francis, of the Graham Greene novel Our Man in Havana.  Again, it was a good sized audience that awaited the start of the play on its opening night and they were not to be disappointed as the cast of four took on the twenty-something roles plus narrator in this amusing and often tense drama.  Confusing?  Not at all – and certainly no repeat of last year’s production of Travels with my Aunt.

This time, the clever use of narration brought the audience – if there was any doubt – back into line and the actors have to be hugely commended on their performances.  At this stage, perhaps an apology to the cast might be in order.  On an unseasonably hot evening, the efficient new heating system in the theatre was working at its best – replicating the near-tropical climatic conditions of Cuba lending a certain unwelcome authenticity to the proceedings.  Particularly affected was poor Charles Davies (last seen at the DPT in our in-house production of Ayckbourn’s Round and Round the Garden in 2015) who was on stage for much of the play in his role as the vacuum cleaner salesman cum would-be spy, Wormold.

From Left: Charles Davies, James Dinsmore, Michael Onslow & Isla Carter

It is always such a pleasure to welcome Director, Amanda Knott, and her cast and members of the company to a bar reception and this was no exception.  It was a joy to meet and chat to them all and we send our best wishes as they continue their tour with this excellent play and hope to see them back at the DPT sometime soon.