The Thin Man – The Case of the All American Menace

After lots of work, both from our actors and our soundman, you can finally listen to the Q2 Players recording of The Thin Man by clicking the link!

Starring:

Tim Williams as Nick Charles

Polly Beauwin as Nora Charles

Susan Gerlach as Joannie Winslow

Jon Coop as Plunger Belsen

Paul Huggins as Alistair Floritin

Mandy Gasson as Olga

Laurie Coombs as The Announcer

Craig Cameron-Fisher on Sound

Featuring music by Kevin MacLeod, Bing Crosby and The Beverley Sisters

Enjoy!

 

Q2 Members Variety Night

 
To cheer ourselves up in these strange times, we have decided to hold a virtual Q2 Variety Night for Q2 members via Google Meet. This will be held on what would have been the last night of Nell Gwynn – Saturday 2nd May at 7.45pm.
There is no theme – you can do whatever you want; a poem, a song, a monologue, a sketch, on whatever subject you choose. These can be pre-recorded, or you can perform them live on the night. If you would like to pre-record your piece, please feel to contact us for help and advice on how to do so.
 
Equally, there is no pressure to perform if you don’t want to – all of the performers will need an audience, so please feel free just to join and watch; we will share a Google Meet link closer to the date that you can click on to watch. Again, do not hesitate to get in touch if you would like some help using Google Meet and we will try to arrange a test run with you so that you can try it out.
If you would like to perform, please let us know what you are going to do so that we can sort out a running order.
Very much looking forward to seeing your faces again!

 

Nell Gwynn Casting Announcement

The auditions for Nell Gwynn left our director and casting committee in awe of the incredible talent in the area, but without much further ado, it’s time to announce the cast!

Nell Gwynn – Cat Lamin

Rose Gwynn – Lynda-Louise Tomlinson

Nancy – Lily Tomlinson

Lady Castlemaine/ Louise de Keroualle – Juliette Sexton

Queen Catherine – Ileana Falcone

Ma Gwynn – Simone White

King Charles II – Tim Williams

Charles Hart – Hugh Cox

Thomas Killigrew – Toby Doncaster

Edward Kynaston – Matt Tester

John Dryden – Scott Tilley

Lord Arlington – Craig Cameron Fisher

Ned Spiggett – Tom Dehlsen

That’s a grand total of FIVE new members for our lovely group – we’re so excited to get started with this show!

Well done to everyone who attended the auditions, it was a great evening and made it tough for the team to decide!

 

Living Memory Review

Living Memory – Q2 Players – 30th November 2019 at The National Archives

Review by Michael Horne

Photographer: Ben Gingell Photography

I’ve known about Q2 Players for a few years through a friend but had not had the pleasure of seeing them perform. On hearing that they were performing a brand new play, I was intrigued. I had the privilege of reading the play ahead of  the performance, thanks to my friend, and I desperately wanted to see it “on its feet”. And so it turns out that on a chilly Saturday morning in November, we made our way to The National Archives in Kew, London.

Living Memory, written and directed by Genni Trickett, is a story of two couples living at the same address, approximately 75 years apart. Both couples have suffered a tragedy and it is against this backdrop that we learn more about them, their troubles and the strengths and weaknesses of their relationships. I’ve gone through my fair share of tragedy and so expect to see my opinion on how well this aspect was conveyed in this review.

The key to this play is that both couples appear on stage at the same time, sometimes almost interacting and, in the second half, connecting in a curious way as their stories move closer together. Ms Trickett has clearly lived and breathed her play during the writing, planning and rehearsal process. Every scene was perfectly worked out in terms of the physicality of the space and not a word or gesture was wasted.

Living MemoryLeading the cast were two actresses: Mia Skytte as Jo was the wife in the “now” and Fliss Morgan was Ruby in the “past”. Ms Skytte portrayed a woman in deep pain, which is always a difficult thing to do subtly, but she kept herself right on the edge of her despair and frustration. A credit to the writing as well as the performance, Ms Skytte never telegraphed her mood swings and when they came they were painful, and all too familiar, to witness. I was particularly impressed with how she was able to get across the portrayal of a normally strong woman who has had her nerves exposed and who is all to likely to bite the head off of anybody who gets too close.

Living Memory

Fliss Morgan as Ruby, in playing a 1945 rural housewife, also provided us with a masterclass in subtlety. Her own heartbreak, revealed in different ways to Jo’s, and the distinct way she dealt with it were a knife to the heart of anyone who has gone through something similar. To begin with, Ruby seems trapped in her marriage, and you wonder how far that marriage has added to the anguish she feels. The interesting part of her character arc, for me, was that it turns out she has more choices in her life than it first appears. Ms Morgan clearly spent a lot of time thinking about how her character would hold herself together because she has to, rather than because she wants to.

Living MemoryThe husbands: Jerry (in the now) and Frank (in the past), were played by Matt Tester and Craig Cameron-Fisher, respectively. To start with, I was worried that the two men were just going to be secondary to their on-stage wives. I needn’t have worried, however, as Ms Trickett gave them both fully rounded characters to inhabit. As Jerry, Jo’s husband, Mr Tester was, initially, the picture-perfect husband. He’s refurbished the cottage where the story takes place, he’s prepared a home for his wife, and he’s proud of what he’s accomplished.
Living MemoryMore to the point, he at first believes that the house in the country will be the solution to all of their problems.
He wants it to be, he needs it to be. That this is slowly revealed not to be the case slowly breaks him down into a drunken mess. I was truly impressed by Mr Tester’s performance – it was horribly familiar.

Living MemoryMr Cameron-Fisher slowly developed into a frustrated, despairing, much more weary man than he initially appears. My first reaction to Frank was that he was a typical 1940s husband, but there was much more to him than that. It was the twisting of my expectations that proved his performance to be a match to his counterpart, and of no less quality. Anyone who has had to deal with what the older couple had gone through, no matter how different that experience might be, can attest to the differences in the way people deal with that pain. Mr Cameron-Fisher accurately portrayed the bewilderment of a husband when his wife turns into, as he sees it, a different person. Frank was played as a likeable, but flawed man who just wants to do what’s best, and that is no mean feat.

Living Memory

Adding to the mix of characters was Simone White as Rachel, Jo’s sister. Although not stated explicitly (that I noticed), you could tell that she had been trained as a counsellor or psychiatrist and at first I feared that was all she would give us as a character. She was far more nuanced, however, as the concern for her sister grew throughout the play. I did find that she accepted some of Jo’s more extreme statements a little too readily, but this added to the sisterly bond. Ms White gave us a rounded portrayal of the relative who just can’t quite break through the emotional walls erected by the person who they can see is in pain.

Living Memory

Playing “the other man” is always difficult for an actor. Hugh Cox, playing Russell, Jo’s boss, had this unenviable role. As an audience, we are set-up to dislike him, from some of the comments made by Jerry, and to start with we watch in horror as he makes a play for Jo. Again, however, Ms Trickett subverts our expectations – Russell was a much more complex character than we are led to believe initially. Mr Cox played the change between hopeful suitor and rejected and slightly wounded masterfully. He also did what I believe is essential for a supporting character: do a lot with not a lot of stage time.

Living Memory

The final supporting character, Gracie, was played by Andrea Wilkins. I don’t know what I was expecting, but I wasn’t expecting to sit there with my mouth open while Ms Wilkins talked a hundred words a second. She did the part of the “overbearing visiting friend” perfectly. The reaction I, as an audience member, felt was part fascination, part horror and part humour as she spoke incessantly at Ruby, who she was visiting. Even this, small role Ms Trickett invested a lot of care in – to start with you are just overwhelmed by the chatter from Gracie, but after a while you understand why she is at the house, and her motivations.

Technically, the show was very involving. The soundscape, which involved a lot of footsteps up and down stairs, as well as birds, crying babies and cars was just right without becoming overbearing. I particularly liked that the footsteps came from the correct part of the set. It was also lit well, drawing attention to the correct part of the set with good isolation. Considering the limitations of the space and equipment, the group did well. I would like to have seen the back flats painted, rather than draped – we spent so long looking at them, being a single set show, that just a bit more “normalness” would have helped. Having said that, the set was dressed wonderfully, with the split time period detail giving us a lot to look at without drawing focus from the actors.

Living Memory

As a piece of theatre, Living Memory was, simply, terrific. The writing had captivated me from the moment I read it a few months before the performance. I was desperate for it to be as good performed as it was read. I was not disappointed. The actors were provided with wonderful material, and the character arcs of every person were distinct, well-portrayed and realistic. From a personal point-of-view, I recognised much of the pain of the piece, and the stages of grief as played in Living Memory were horribly familiar. In fact, at times it was too familiar and I wanted to look away. This is the power of great theatre: this play took a situation that no-one would wish on another person and explored it with panache, conviction and passion. It is a rare thing to witness, and I cannot heap enough praise on Q2 Players for putting their confidence in the writer and director to bring this stunning play to life.

 

Summer Readings

Summer is finally here! And as always, we will be celebrating with a trio of excellent rehearsed readings in the scout hut. This year, they will be as follows:

10th July, 8pm – a sparkling, sixties comedy, directed by Wendy Grossman.

31st July, 8pm – Millie and Flo Investigate, written and directed by Genni Trickett

14th August, 8pm – a one act social comedy, directed by Harriet Muir.

Summer Readings are for members and their invited guests – if you are not a member, but would be interested in joining us, please drop us an email on q2players@gmail.com

Entry is £3, and includes your first drink. We look forward to seeing you there!

Exciting Announcement for Autumn 2019

At Q2, we love to do interesting and exciting shows and our history is peppered with unusual versions of traditional shows and obscure plays that have been a huge hit. With this in mind, we are delighted to be able to announce that for Autumn 2019, we will be performing an original piece written by our very own secretary, Genni Trickett.

Living Memory is the bitter sweet story of two couples who live at the same address, in different times in history, and are struggling to cope with a personal tragedy. The committee read through a large selection of shows for Autumn and agreed that this particular piece was incredibly special and we hope that you feel the same way too.

The performance dates will be 28th-30th November 2019 at The National Archives in Kew and the cast is as follows:

Jo (mid-late thirties)

Jerry (mid-late thirties)

Ruby (mid-forties – early-fifties)

Frank (mid-forties – early-fifties)

Russell (early forties)

Rachel (Early forties)

Gracie (early-mid-thirties)

If you’d like to read through the script to see whether you’d be interested in auditioning, please email us and we will send you over a PDF copy. The official read through will be held on Wednesday 21st August with auditions on Wednesday 28th August. If you are likely to be on away for the audition date, please let us know so that an alternative can be arranged!

The Importance of Being Earnest Cast Announcement

As you’re aware, we held auditions this week for our Spring production The Importance of Being Earnest. It was an extremely well attended audition with lots of incredible talent to choose from and we were incredibly sad to have to turn people down, especially considering the high caliber of auditionees for the show!

However, we are delighted to be able to announce that the cast for The Importance of Being Earnest is as follows:

Algernon: Hugh Cox

Jack: David Tedora

Gwendolen: Rachel Burnham

Cecily: Ellie Greenwood

Lady Bracknell: Tim Williams

Dr Chasuble: Craig Cameron-Fisher

Miss Prism: Laurie Coombs

Lane: Kurt (Cubby) Walton

Merriman: Paul Huggins

You may notice a few familiar faces from past shows or other groups within the borough, but we are particularly thrilled to welcome Ellie, Rachel and David as new members to Q2.