They say Rome wasn’t built in a day, as Jim and Mary Baxter would no doubt understand. They have engaged local builder David to put up a house extension for them. But it’s the old story as far as David is concerned, with too many jobs on the go at once and too few workers to do them.

As a result, chippie Brian and labourers Mark and Piper are constantly being hauled away from the Baxter job to do other work, and the wily David has to be at his smooth-talking best to explain to Mary and Jim why their extension is taking so long. Will the building be finished in time for the arrival of a new baby?

If you have ever watched ‘As Time Goes By’ with Judi Dench and Geoffrey Palmer, you will realise what a superb comedy writer Bob Larbey is. Following his many television success his first play was ‘A Month of Sundays’ which won an Evening Standard Best Comedy award in 1986. His second play was ‘Building Blocks’.

Director, Ken Rolf, is looking forward to bringing this wry situation comedy to life on the Memorial Hall stage – as long as he can persuade the stage manager to finish the set on time!

LITTLE BADDOW DRAMA’s production runs from Wednesday 30th April to Saturday 3rd May at 7,45pm in the Memorial Hall on North Hill in Little Baddow CM3 4TA

Tickets: £8.00 Wednesday and £9.00 Thursday to Saturday

Box Office: 01245 421729
Tickets available from 7th April, 5.30pm-9.30pm

There’s a bar and free parking at the Memorial Hall

For any further details contact:
Alison Woollard: 01245 421729 a.woollard@virgin.net


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Reviews

Without doubt, this is one of the best performances by Little Baddow Drama Club that I have seen. The play is a comedy by Bob Larbey and perfectly captures all the horrors and frustrations of having building work done in your home, something that most of us can relate to. Of course, this subject supplies all the ingredients for a clever writer to produce a piece of work guaranteed to hit the spot with an audience, as long as the performers understand how to play it. In this production the interpretation was right on the button, by a director and cast who empathised completely with the characters. From start to finish they managed to capture the whole building experience without ever resorting to overplaying the parts or caricaturing the individuals, an admirable restraint by all concerned where to go over the top would have been so easy to do. There wasn’t a weak actor in this excellent production, everybody deserves a mention here and fortunately with a small cast, I have space to do them all justice.

The two builders, who were the ever-present labourers and a buffer between the contractor and the couple having the work done, were played by James Oakley and John Maybe. These work mates were well matched and shared a believable camaraderie in their attempts to keep both sides happy, whilst enjoying some banter between themselves. We have all met workmen like this, they were instantly identifiable, a fine piece of character portrayal by them both. Jon Peregrine played David, their boss. We have all met him before too in some guise or other, the boss of the outfit who came up with one excuse after another for not fulfilling his promises, in the hope that this would give him a quiet life whilst at the same time diffusing the developing mistrust between him and his clients. Essentially a likeable personality, doomed to disappoint by trying to keep all the balls in the air at once. John was perfect for this role. The other tradesman on hand was Brian the carpenter, played convincingly by Mike Gordon. I have not seen this actor perform before and instantly liked his delivery of dialogue and expressive eyes, another good comedy actor who looked totally at home on the stage. The hapless young couple employing this gang, were Sara Thompson as Mary and Martin Lucas as her husband, Jim. What a pair of innocent novices they were and so endearing in their gullibility. They became so stressed as the action progressed that by the end of act one I was feeling quite stressed for them too! These parts were not easy to play, they had to pitch their characters just right in order to seem nice people without making themselves look like fools. The fact that they achieved this effortlessly is a testament to their good acting and excellent direction. I enjoyed previous performances by Martin and in my opinion he has quality comic timing. Another excellent example of good casting, they were made for each other. So, all in all a fine cast and a funny play, the icing on the cake being the speed and delivery of dialogue from everybody, which was natural and confident.

Finally I really must mention the set, what a great piece of scenery! Congratulations to all those concerned in the design and construction. Next production is in November and I do urge you to go along and see what they can do, always something different on offer and always worth the visit.

Review by Cheryl Rogers