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

Six Characters Looking for an Author (Pirandello)

A group of actors are preparing to rehearse for a Luigi Pirandello play. While starting the rehearsal, they are interrupted by the arrival of six characters. The leader of the characters, the father, informs the manager that they are looking for an author. He explains that the author who created them did not finish their story, and that they therefore are unrealised characters who have not been fully brought to life. The manager tries to throw them out of the theatre, but becomes more intrigued when they start to describe their story.

The father is an intellectual who married a peasant woman (the mother). Things went well until she fell in love with his male secretary. Having become bored with her over the years, the father encouraged her to leave with his secretary. She departs from him, leaving behind the eldest son who becomes bitter for having been abandoned.

The mother starts a new family with the other man and has three children. The father starts to miss her, and actively seeks out the other children in order to watch them grow up. The step-daughter recalls that he used to wait for her after school in order to give her presents. The other man eventually moves away from the city with the family and the father loses track of them.

After the other man dies, the mother and her children return to the city. She gets a job in Madame Pace's dress shop, unaware that Madame Pace is more interested in using her daughter as a prostitute. One day the father arrives and Madame Pace sets him up with the daughter. He starts to seduce her but they are interrupted when the mother sees him and screams out. Embarrassed, he allows the step-daughter and the entire family to move in with him, causing his son to resent them for intruding in his life.

The manager agrees to become the author for them and has them start to play the scene where the father is in the dress shop meeting the step-daughter for the first time. He soon stops the plot and has his actors attempt to mimic it, but both the father and the step-daughter protest that it is terrible and not at all realistic. He finally stops the actors and allows the father and step-daughter to finish the scene.

The manager changes the setting for the second scene and forces the characters to perform it in the garden of the father's house. The mother approaches the son and tries to talk to him, but he refuses and leaves her. Entering the garden, he sees the youngest daughter drowned in the fountain and rushes over to pull her out. In the process, he spots the step-son with a revolver. The young boy shoots himself, causing the mother to scream out for him while running over to him.

The manager, watching this entire scene, is unable to tell if it is still acting or if it is reality. Fed up with the whole thing, he calls for the end of the rehearsal.


The Cast:

Jonathan (An Actor) - Jonathan Martin

Gordon (The Leading man)   - Gordon Cummings

Alison (An Actress)   - Alison Howells

John (The Lighting Man) - John Hosford

Ken (The Stage Manager)   - Ken Kemp

Jenni (A Stage hand)  - Jenni Sinclair

Trevor (The Director)  - Trevor Osbourn

Sue (The Leading Lady)  - Sue Clatworthy

The Father  - Richard Westbrook

The Step Daughter  - Charlotte Foster

The Mother  - Patricia Truelove

The Son  - Jack Greeen

The Boy - Henry Clatworthy

The Girl - Alison Hawkins

The Director - Jean Schofield


A REVIEW by Toby Allanson

(The Herts and Essex Observer)

'Characters on a Surreal Romp'

It is hard to know how to start a review of Clavering Players' latest production, Luigi Pirandello's 'Six Characters Looking for an Author. To put it mildly the play was unconventional, depicting rehearsals for Pirandello's 'The Rules of the Game' interrupted by the eponymous characters (fruits of an anonymous author's mind) demanding to play out the drama of their horribly dysfunctional lives.

Such a plot made Thursday night’s performance at Clavering Village Hall at times confusing, occasionally shocking, but, thanks to the superb actors and director Jean Schofield, always spellbinding.

This was though provoking, funny and disturbing theatre that raised question marks about identity, freedom and reality. It showed little respect for the theatre or the audience, let alone critics and was quite riveting as a result.

Trevor Osbourn was splendid as the pragmatic director of the aborted rehearsals prepared to 'twist the truth' of the characters’ lives to make them work on stage. His stubborn refusal to be sucked in by the melodrama proved reassuring and amusing until the worrying conclusion.

The comfortable relationship between Richard Westbrook (The Father) Charlotte Foster (Step-Daughter) and Patricia Truelove (The Mother) was magnificently realised by the three actors.

Westbrook had a brooding, creepy presence, Foster tottered on the very edge of insanity with frightening conviction and Truelove's banshee scream was a spine-chilling highlight.

Praise must also go to youngsters Henry Clatworthy (The Boy) and Alison Hawkins (The Girl) whose sinister silence and tragic end made for unsettling viewing.

Accompanying programmes rarely warrant mention, but it would be wrong not to commend Osbourn's effort which was full of illuminating comments that really added to the audiences appreciation of the play.

This was a first rate production blessed by a director brave enough to undertake such a challenging piece, and actors talented enough to make  the material soar.