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First rate players master the art of coarse acting

THE FALCON Players put aside pre-conceived theories on acting to perform 'The Coarse Acting Show' at Stanford Hall Theatre last week.

Playwright Michael Green breaks all the rules in this show in which he takes the rise out of second-rate amateur actors.

Really it was too ambitious a choice for the Players as the show requires an immensely professional standard of performance to get the laughs it deserves.

Also it would have been so easy for the show to backfire on them as it is about amateur actors - which of course is what the Falcon Players are.

But second-rate they are not. And they carried the show off well enough when I saw it on Thursday last week enjoying the opportunity to let their hair down.

The show consists of four playlets which gave ample chance for everyone to get involved to one degree or another.

Streuth was the fist example of coarse acting, intro- duced by the accomplished and very funny Lawrence Holmes, also the show's director.

Stage effects were completely mistimed with spotlights falling on the wrong characters and the opening curtain rising several times because the actors were not in their places.

Roy Emmett, who played The Inspector, lived up to the playwright's definition of a coarse action to a tee. Green describes this breed of actor as: "One who can remember the lines but not the order in which they come.

A thoroughly sickly and hammed Mrs. D'Arcy was captured well by Janet Holmes and talented Chris Marlow had me in stitches as Mr. Oliver D'Arcy who gab- bles his words so fast he is incomprehensible.

Moby Dick was the next play in the line-up. Chris Marlow stole the limelight again as Ishmael who joins the whale hunt.

A classic Chekov play - The Cherry Sisters - was the next example of coarse acting.

Cardboard characters, mis-timed lines and mishaps were in plentiful supply in this performance in which Sally Hirst excelled as the heart-broken Basha and Kathy Phillips as the deeply tormented Gnasha.

Then there was the funniest play of all - Henry X (Part 7). Stuart Bailey stole the show with his ludicrous performance as the clichéd Shakespearean King who makes his royal entrance on a mobile throne.

This was an immensely difficult show to bring off, but I was pleasantly surprised by the Falcon Players' efforts.