The Extraordinary Revelations of Orca the Goldfish
By David Tristram
Lancashire Evening Post
The two one-act plays chosen to be performed by Ormskirk Theatre Company in the cosy theatre above Disraeli’s in Ormskirk’s Church Street were both little gems.
Written by David Tristram, The Extraordinary Revelations of Orca the Goldfish was comedy at its finest. Unfortunately the name of the play doesn’t do it any favours and it was only on the strength of the writer’s reputation that I ventured to see it. I was so glad I did.
What followed was a superb hour of pure comedy, nothing vulgar, more in line with Victor Meldrew in the classic TV series, One Foot in the Grave. With a cast of three (including Orca, the goldfish) it had me in tears of laughter from the start.
Gary Simpson and Pat Baker were superb as Henry and Alice Smith, a middle-aged couple, she so irritated by his finicky ways, he so bored with her obsession with housework, that they indulged in secret fantasies to bring excitement to their lives watched only by Orca and, of course, the audience.
Among others, Henry fancied himself as James Bond and the President of the USA while Alice enjoyed the imaginary amorous advances of a French waiter in an exotic foreign country. Unfortunately, the waiter turned into Henry, struggling to put up a deckchair, and the foreign country was Wales.
I couldn’t help but admire how they managed to change from one fantasy to another so convincingly, with different accents, changes of costume and without faltering. Professional actors could not have entertained the audience more.
The supporting play, None the Wiser, was written by Anthony Booth and also had some brilliant writing. Set in the sitting room of the local “convent” the Mother Superior (Paul Falcone) and four nuns (Ann Todd, Alexandra Harvey, Teri Bennett and Charlotte Taylor) aren’t quite the pillars of society they are supposed to be. In fact, this motley crew are crooks posing as nuns, stealing from the surrounding area with a “fence” ready to pass on the stolen property.
But they are in danger of their true identity being revealed when two supposedly real nuns (Rosanna Harrison-Pope and June Dowd) turn up seeking refuge at their ‘convent’ Mayhem follows and it’s not until a phone call taken by one of the “real” nuns that all is revealed.
This was another thoroughly amusing piece with some good acting from the ladies and nice to see so many young members with lots of talent to be honed.
Directors Alexandra Harvey and Charlotte Taylor are to be congratulated on a fine programme. With a delicious three-course pre-theatre meal in the pub below to start with, this made for a most enjoyable evening’s entertainment.