A Kick in the Baubles

A Kick in the Baubles by Gordon Steel is Gainford Drama Club’s seasonal offering and it certainly hits the spot as an antidote to Christmas.  Lawrence Chandler plays Frank, sharing with the audience his thoughts and feelings on Christmas as his harassed wife Jean (Jean McCann) insists on shopping at 5 am and monitors his consumption of the mince pies. It is Christmas Eve.  The in-laws are expected. In a distressingly accurate portrayal of Christmas preparations in a family recently hit by redundancy, the situations are completely recognisable and often hilarious. Jean’s sister, Doreen, ably played by Di Peat, arrives with her husband, the boastful, henpecked Harry (John Chadwick) to provoke Jean into competing with her sister’s snobbish one-upmanship.  There is tension and squabbling at every turn, laughter and sudden tenderness when the couple’s estranged daughter Milly (Imogen Richardson) appears unexpectedly.

The cast coped well with the scene change blackouts and the pacey dialogue.  There were some clever and well timed special effects with Frosty the Snowman and Santa.  Susannah Handley was outstanding in her cameo role as tarty neighbour Julie, proudly displaying her husband’s Christmas gift of a “boob-job” and teasing the older couples.  Paul Richardson created quite a sensation with his appearance as her karaoke-wielding neighbour, Gary, wearing his wife’s clothes in a parody of Freddie Mercury’s “I want to break free” accompanied by the audience’s gales of laughter.

Primarily a rib-tickling farce, the play had its poignant moments.  The relationship problems of spoilt Alex (Anna Jones) and that of Milly (Imogen Richardson) with boyfriend Darren (Tom Brown)  bring the outside world crashing into the domestic scene reminding us that at Christmas, families really DO matter.  The play was directed by Jan Richardson- Wilde, assisted by Ronnie Lowery and was a complete sell-out for the nine-night run. The next production will be staged in April.  To get involved or join the mailing list contact the Secretary, Mrs Ronnie Lowery on 01325 730190 (daytime only).