Sunday, 18 December 2011


Big apologies to Kirkby Overblow Dramatic Society! They invited us to their production of Rumours, a farce by Neil Simon, on 3rd December and this is the first opportunity I've had to sit down and write about it. So, 280 Christmas cards and a lot of visiting, caroling and shopping later, I cast my mind back three Saturdays to what was a really entertaining night out. The farce itself was reminiscent of the Brian Rix type farces of my childhood, though with an American flavour rather than a British one, and we laughed a great deal, caught up in the sheer madness of the fast unfolding and ever more ridiculous plot. (The skill of farce is surely that it could just actually happen that way?) The timing of all the actors was good - it needed to be - and although the play was fast moving, as is the way with the best farces, in fact, not as much happened as you might initially think would be the case. A crime that became more of a terrible misunderstanding with consequences for everyone who had been invited to the party would be my take on events. The set was ambitious - a two storey creation by Bruce Noble which stood up well to the constant dashing from one level to another (and, the Vicar tells me, vanished speedily to return the church to a worship space in time for the Christmas services!) The lead part was played by the director Adam McKenzie and we especially enjoyed the performances by Simon Stockill, Alice Sheepshanks and Simon Vale. Vanda McKenzie's eye for detail showed up in her handling of the production; as with other KODS performances I've seen, the set was rather beautifully presented with attention to colour as well as style. 

The performance supported the work of St Michael's Hospice, Harrogate and The Friends of All Saints, Kirkby Overblow.

KODS took part in the Wharfedale Drama Festival for the first time, this year, and came away with no less than four awards - the Richard Whitley shield for the best overall production, The Yorkshire Post trophy for the most outstanding acting by the whole cast, the best actor (to David Zucker) and the best supporting actor (to Simon Stockill). This is no surprise once you have seen the company perform: I would say that one of the outstanding features of KODS is that every member of the cast and production team contributes to the overall quality and there are no very obvious passengers. We look forward to their next production - I'd like to see them tackle Hedda Gabler (Ibsen) or a Checkov play and see what they make of it!          

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