It was an evening of two halves – a comedy sketch show in the first, followed by a more serious short play in the second. The linking feature was the writing and performances of Dominic Bullock – he directed the first half, took part in many of the scenes as well as writing and starring in the A Game of Chess in the second half.
English Lessons was a collection of short sketches around the theme of Englishness. Covering situations such a sharing a train carriage to dealing with mechanics, they were, on the whole, very well performed and always entertaining.
The stand-out performances from the first half came from Bill Moulford who created a series of perfectly English characters and had a great sense of timing and from Chris Gladwin who showed great flexibility and a flair for physical comedy. However all seven performers must be commended for their work.
A Game of Chess tackled some important themes – bereavement, love, faith. There was a lightness of touch in the use of comedy throughout but perhaps some of the symbolism was a litte heavy-handed. The use of the chess game was a neat device but the audience could have been relied upon to realize the significance of the loss of the queens without having it repeated. However for a first play, it shows that Bullock has enormous potential and not some little talent.
Matthew Seton Sell gave a very polished performance in the role of Hugh. He was well supported by Bullock and Tanja Johansson who were always credible and committed to the work.
I would encourage others to pop along to the OFS and experience the work of The Communicators for themselves. I can promise that you will not regret it.