The Friends always look forward to welcoming the cast of a Talking Scarlet production to a bar reception and in many ways this was a doubly special occasion as this play, written by Simon Williams, was directed by our new Patron, John Hester.  Alas, this Friends’ gathering was not on the opening night of this play and – as is the wont in the lives of the busy professionals involved in bringing us these productions – both writer and director were absent as they had moved on to their next project.  This by no means detracted from the enjoyment of the play itself by the sizeable audience gathered on the night.

There is no doubt that this play’s success is very dependent on the skills of the four main proponents in the story, and this four/five strong cast did not disappoint.  Sadly, Leah Bracknell who had been cast in the role of Harriet, was taken ill a matter of days before the play was due to open and her part was thrust upon Emily Lawes – who graduated from Exeter University last year, but whose performance was to be commended!  This also meant that we got a brief on-stage glimpse of Bonnie Poole.  Bonnie – whom we had met on several occasions in the recent past in her role as ASM with Talking Scarlet.

After such a hugely entertaining evening – hilarious at times with incongruous cross-dressing, amazingly timed telephone/intercom conversations – it was real joy to welcome this cast to the bar reception after their impressive two-plus hours on stage.

Front (l-r): Bonnie Poole, Tilly Standing, Emily Lawes Behind: Stephen Beckett, Michael Fenner

Front (l-r): Bonnie Poole, Tilly Standing, Emily Lawes
Behind: Stephen Beckett, Michael Fenner

A really friendly group of people who seemed more than happy to mix with the Friends gathered to meet them, share their experiences and sign autographs!

We discovered that Michael Fenner is not only a superb actor, he is also an exceedingly accomplished artist whose work has been shortlisted for the RA Summer Exhibition and is on display in London galleries.  It was also good to learn that this production had brought together two old friends: Tilly Standing and Bonnie Poole had studied together at LAMDA before graduating in 2015.

We wish them all luck as they tour around the country with this play until the middle of November.