Lundie Theatre group recently presented three spectacular performances of ‘Stand and Deliver’, by Janet Shaw, in the Montrave Hall, Lundin Links.
The stage was set as a hospital ward, where the experiences of delivering babies to four very different mums and their partners unfolded.
The events ranged from slapstick comedy farce to the painfully dramatic and, directed by Gill Richards and Rhona Paterson, this was a production which dared to challenge any notion of safe community theatre.
Suzanne Elder demonstrated her class and her craft, as both narrator and the wisecracking, worldly-wise nurse Lindsay Walker.
The four mothers, played superbly by Jennifer Brown as Vivien, Antonia Pettifer as Nicola Ward, Laura Stewart as Lizzie Meadows and Jenni Ballingall as teenage mum Michelle Greenwood, all showed a variety and depth to their performances rarely seen in amateur productions.
Their respective partners and relatives were delivered by Roddy Sneddon as Nicola’s adoring husband. His interaction with Antonia during some of the more slapstick scenes was comedy gold.
Newcomers to the theatre group, but clearly not to acting, were Wendy and Michael Carmichael, who played the formidable ward sister and the husband of Vivien respectively. Both delivered polished performances.
Another new addition to the group was Elizabeth Sterling, who did very well in her first-ever performance. It is good to see the lifeblood of this group continuing to grow.
David Lister demonstrated his growth in confidence playing a thick-accented Yorkshire father, who had some scene-stealing lines that had the audience in stitches.
He and Laura also had many of the audience moved to tears when a shift in mood sees him and his wife cradle their stillborn child.
The moment the child is taken away by Suzanne Elder was breathtaking in its simplicity and power – an original scene skilfully crafted by the directors and players.
To bring an audience from so high to so low and back again is a mark of a quality production.
Stalwart of the group, Jean Stebbing, and her comedy foil, Brenda Stafford, played two hospital cleaners who grabbed most of the biggest laughs of the night, with, as always, great timing and interplay with the audience.
Robert Williamson also continued to demonstrate his confidence on stage, with his philandering doctor enjoying the attentions of Nurse Walker.
Liz Rolland portrayed the tyrannical mother of Michelle with consummate skill until her timely comeuppance at the hands of the fabulous Jennifer Brown.
Word clearly went around locally about this performance from a less than full first night, to a full second night, to a final performance which had every available inch of space occupied and the show delayed 15 minutes to get everyone in the hall. If there had been a fourth night, a larger theatre would have been required.
When community theatre is this good, you don’t need to worry about bridges being closed. There is quality entertainment on the doorstep.