By Lynette Watson

ADAPTED from the novel of the same name, A Bolt from the Blue is a weird and very quirky comedy farce telling the story of Edward Jones, an ordinary man on the eve of his 40th birthday, who is simply doing his job repairing pylon faults, when he is struck by lightning.

The events that follow, that were played out by The Falcon Players at the Cope Auditorium in Loughborough, are far from ordinary and somewhat incredible!

David Tristram, himself, leaves the door open for a company to perform the play using as many actors as they wish, although in its original form and the most challenging, it was written for just three.

The Falcon Players chose the latter but I felt had other talented members of the group been involved, the production could have been more entertaining to add the essential ingredient for comedy, pace.

The plot is moved on by two narrators (Lawrence Holmes and Cathy Rackstraw) who also take part in the action by assuming several characters, dare I say it, with lightning costume changes en route.

Alan Whiteland's performance as Edward was suitably confused throughout, mind you, any play with invisible dogs, an exploding woman, a headless peacock plus a crow harpooned to a tree (dont ask!) confused the audience even more.

Lawrence Holmes was the stronger of the two narrators, his comic timing coupled with characterisation in the various roles could not be faulted.

Cathy Rackstraw seemed more at ease when playing the straighter parts especially her character at the end of the play when she explains the reasons for Edwards demise.

An imposing pylon dominated the minimalistic set and many congratulations to the backstage crew for the superb sound and lighting effects including pyrotechnics as they had over a hundred cues to follow throughout the show in order to keep the action flowing.

The Falcon Players are now taking a well earned break to recharge their batteries until 2010 and will possibly be returning to a new venue and also to be able to offer a different choice of play.

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