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You have to be good to look bad

IT IS difficult to act well - but much harder to act badly so well it looks natural.

Sadly, the Falcon Players failed to completely master this skill so necessary for their production Carry on Coarse Acting at Stanford Hall Theatre last week.

It was an ambitious choice of show for the group. directed by Lawrence Holmes, but I think they set themselves a challenge they were only able to live up to in part. In the drama, playwright Michael Green pokes fun at bad amateur actors which he calls coarse actors. These people can remember their lines but not in the right order, know when to come on stage but not where, and address the scenery instead of the audience.

The whole concept is incredibly witty but making it work requires impeccable timing from the actors. Just tc act badly will not look like coarse acting — the mistakes have to be painfully obvious.

In the four playlets which make up the play, deliberate mistakes were often mistimed by the cast and consequently the comic impact was lost.

But there were times when the actors got the laughs the deserved such as in A Collier's Tuesday Tea.

A mining family sit round a table eating tea but one by one the table legs are accidentally knocked off. The actors have to try to carry on as though nothing has hap-pened.

Liz Cox did well as the mother, Ida Hepplethwaite and Keith Hague was good as the father Daniel. Janet Holmes made us all laugh as Margery, the friend of the family who keeps trying to leave the table.

This playlet, along with A Fine Fish in her Kettle, worked best.

The second playlet is all about how not to do a French domestic farce. The actors dash in and out of the set, accidentally colliding, forget-ting their lines ... all in true coarse acting style.

Stuart Bailey was comic as Victor Loux who desperately tries to drug his wife so he can bring another woman home.

Chris Marlow displayed the epitome of coarse acting as Dr. Henri Douche who trips over everything on set when he loses his glasses.

Jill Pritchard played the part of the wife, and Eugenie Loux and Sue Vickers was the girlfriend Mme. Lucille von Obersheister.

Another playlet The Vaga-bond Prince lacked pace although there were somecgood individual performances.

Frank Webster was comic as Prince Tuborg in The Vagabond Prince and Keith Hague was excellent as the Hofmeister. Jane Thomas displayed a lovely singing voice as the bride, Stella Artois.

Stuart Bailey made a comical Julius Caesar in the fourth playlet Julius and Cleopatra and talented Sally Hirst played Cleopatra.

The production benefited from an excellent set designed by Lawrence Holmes and outstanding costumes.

Although credit must go to individual actors — too many to mention here — I felt the show overall did not bring out the company's best talent and a better choice of production could have been made.

— S.J.S.