Feb 6, 2019
Category: News
Posted by: Keith Nuttall


'ALLO ALLO' directed by Jennie Scott-Reid , to be performed on Friday 31st May, Saturday 1st June and Sunday 2nd June, at Clavering Village Hall

Clavering Players Website

A Warwickshire Testimony (De Angelis)

Moving backward and forward from the beginning of the twentieth century to the present day, 'A Warwickshire Testimony' considers universal themes through its focus on the members of a British family in the industrial midlands.

Witty, fresh, deeply felt - April De Angelis' snapshots of village life show a century of change and demonstrate the truth of The Guardian's statement that 'There is no denying the sheer exuberance of De Angelis's writing'.



Dorothy (Margery’s daughter)            Jennifer Scott-Reid

Tom (Dorothy’s husband)                  Richard Westbrook

Edie                                               Charlotte Foster

Margery (Edie’s sister)                       Emma James

George (Margery’s husband)              Peter Simmons

Edie (As an old lady)                         Jean Schofield

Gladys (Edie and Margery’s mother)     Sylvia Martinelli

Lady de Broke (Squire)                      Pat Truelove

Pregnant Woman                             Alison Howells

Hilary Betteridge                               Alison Howells

Dead Soldier                                    Gordon Cummings

Diggie                                             Gordon Cummings

Sandra (Edie’s assistant)                    Julia Simmons


Director                                           Peter Simmons


A Review by Toby Allanson

(The Herts and Essex Observer)

'Players Feel its Time for a Change'

Given the looming prospect of Stansted Airport expansion, 'A Warwickshire Testimony', a moving mediation on the trauma of change, was an apt choice by The Clavering Players.

April de Angelis’ play leapt backwards and forwards in time, between 1918 and 2000, as it charted the life of Edie, played as a young woman by Charlotte Foster and, in her old age, by Jean Schofield. Within that framework, Thursday’s production at Clavering Village Hall managed to encompass numerous themes: including the threat posed by developers to a rural way of life; the impact of two world wars; and the painful loss of children. The latter came as quite a shock when it reared its head towards the end of what had really been quite a gentle act one and proved the most emotive thread of the story.

Jennifer Scott-Reid, as the grieving and slightly unstable mother Dorothy, did well and always gave the impression she was a woman on the edge. Richard Westbrook, as her husband Tom, was also strong, although the less said about the wig, the better. Peter Simmons oozed pathos as George, convincingly  portraying his character’s journey from carefree youth to the resigned disappointment of middle age.

The most heart-stopping moment was provided by Gordon Cummings, in the role of the troubled Diggie cursed by the ability to see into the future. The horrors he foresaw on the edge of the quarry sent shivers down the spine. Foster and Schofield deserve tremendous credit for their performances in the Edie roles, the glue that held the production together. Director, Peter Simmons’ use of still images accompanying audio  scenes were powerful and his choice of music entirely fitting. While the play started as a battle against change and the idealisation of a bygone age, it finished with the characters embracing the future; accepting that nothing can stay the same; and that nothing is ever as good as we remember.