Review: Waiting in the Wings, Gorleston Theatre Company, Pavilion Theatre

Waiting in the Wings. Photo: Tony Mallion

Waiting in the Wings. Photo: Tony Mallion - Credit: Archant

You might expect that a play set in a home for retired actresses The Wings in the Thames Valley might be staid and sedate but that would be to underestimate the brilliance of Noel Coward and the talents of Gorleston Theatre Company (GTC).

The large cast comprised several longstanding members of GTC who brought to vivid life their roles as former leading ladies.

The beautifully attired cast, with many becoming costume changes, brought an elegant touch of nostalgia to the drama, which took place in the lounge of the retirement home.

The vignettes of the lives of these characters were cleverly depicted and infused with poignancy as the ladies looked back on their lives and the changes they had seen during their lifetime.

However the play was not without humour.

One character former Shakespearean actress called Sarita Myrtle, captivatingly portrayed by Pauline Dyball, left her room at night, took matches from the lounge to light a cigarette and accidentally set the curtains alight, causing a conflagration.

The scene on Christmas Day was very seasonal until the sudden death of resident Deirdre O'Malley, very movingly presented.

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All could empathise with Almina, Bridget Robinson, who lamented her love of eating.

Although the drama might be thought at first to have been rather slow moving, the arrival of a new resident at the home Lotta well played by Jane Harris with whose husband another resident had also once been in love causes some friction but the reconciliation between the two ladies is grippingly presented.

This was a wonderful first 2017 production by the company and included several who had never previously acted and who all hope to see again.

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