Pastimes: A play by Brian Jeffries, performed by RATS

RATS PastimesFor their final performance of the 2012/13 season, Ribchester Amateur Dramatics Society (RATS) tackled Pastimes by Brian Jeffries - a comedy based in a seaside café run by two middle-aged brothers.

From the very first scene the dialogue was interwoven with complicated actions and asides, which provided relative new-comer Steven Johnson with plenty of challenges as he took on the role of Bill.

Both Steven and RATS regular John Royle, playing Sam, were adept at portraying the game-playing, slightly camp brothers in their uneventful lives. Until, enter stage-left, Suzannah Rogerson playing Linda - affectionately known as Matlock throughout the action. In only her second major role for the group, Suzannah turns the brothers lives upside down with the chain of events that she initiates.

Ably supported by Ann Lang in the role of Connie, her grandmother, and Sue Cronshaw as the hapless Winnie, the action veered from present day to memories of forty years previously when the quartet’s pasts had been intertwined. An excellent set, created by John Sharples and his team, enabled this talented group of actors to create 2 hours of mesmerising and comical action. Needless to say the pair of brothers weren’t as innocent as they would have the viewers believe!

The complicated props added to the action, creating the illusion of a very busy café off-stage and the concentration required by those on stage to ensure all the café orders continued to be delivered to the unseen diners only added to the action packed play. The actors provided comic brilliance with their ability to become the characters they were playing and the situations they found themselves in, from the facial expressions to the subtle dance movements and sideways glances. It was indeed a polished and professional performance. The play was clearly “pulled-together” by accomplished director Dave Proctor, assisted by producer, Anne Rogerson. All-in-all a real treat.         

Roll on the next show!