Last year we saw Sian Eleanor Green play (among other parts) Romeo in the Handlebard’s production of Romeo and Juliet. She was very good (as was the rest of the cast). Tonight we saw her again, this time playing Nick Diamond in a stage adaptation of Anthony Horowitz’s The Falcon’s Malteser. Again, she was very good and, again again, she was playing a male.
I booked tickets back in June without knowing that Anthony Horowitz writes books for children. The reasons I booked tickets were simple. Firstly because the production was being held at The Vaults (where we saw the interactive Alice) and secondly because I thought it was going to be an over the top, comedic version of The Maltese Falcon.
It was a lot of fun and we thoroughly enjoyed it. And, while the subject matter and maturity level was a bit more adult at Thursday’s Present Laughter, the energy and level of ensemble playing was just about the same. (The theatres are also not that far apart.)
Of course we were ridiculously early though I wanted a bigger buffer than usual because there had been a stuff up with the tickets. While I opted to have them posted they didn’t actually arrive. When I contacted the box office I spoke to a very nice fellow who assured me that, if I arrived at the theatre bearing the order number, they would issue me with our tickets there and then…which is what happened.
Mind you, the theatre wasn’t actually open when we arrived so we went for a bit of a wander up the Marshland-That-Once-Was first.
Back at the Vaults we obtained our tickets then queued up outside the performance space before taking our black seats in the special three front rows. These were the Diamond seats and very similar to our black dining chairs. They looked more comfortable than the majority red chairs behind us. We also had a little cocktail table between us. I should have popped up to the bar for a beer. For some reason I left it too late and missed out.
The play was very funny even if it was aimed at an age group considerably younger than ours. And the kids in the audience loved it. There were a few jokes for the oldies but, basically, it was silliness with a fair amount of slapstick thrown in.
There were two little girls sitting next to Mirinda (9 & 7 maybe) who were absolutely glued to the action. They laughed, they stared, their mouths were almost permanently open. If for no other reason, it’s great seeing such an amazing response to live theatre and long may they continue attending theatrical productions.
The plot, though quite complex and convoluted, revolves around a lot of diamonds, a box of Maltesers and the multi-character skills of Fergus Leathem (Inspector Snape, Himmell, Johnny Naples, dad) and Samantha Sutherland (Beatrice von Falkenberg, the Fat Man, Betty Cleaner, Lauren Bacardi, mum) who never stopped. Samantha, in particular, was brilliant.
The fourth member of the cast was Matt Jopling playing the hapless and, frankly, witless Tim Diamond. His comic timing was excellent and his business beautifully executed. In particular the stuff with the guitar strap and hand cuffs was a delight.
All in all, it was actually highly enjoyable and, best of all, we were back at Waterloo heading for home at 8:30. That never happens. Obviously, the girls were very pleased.