The Killing of Sister George
by Franc Marcus
Thursday 6th - Saturday 8th December 7:30pm
Directed by Gill Lambourn
June Buckridge is a leading light of the radio serial “Applehurst” where as Sister George she has enjoyed huge popularity and success. However ratings for the show and Sister George have been falling and this coupled with June’s outrageous behaviour has tempted the BBC to consider taking serious action to save the show and its own reputation. This brings all types of pressure to bear on June’s relationship with her flat mate Childie, whom as her name implies behaves and looks far younger than is usual for a woman of her age. Can “Psychometrist” Madame Xenia foretell the future? Will Mrs Mercy and the BBC save Applehurst? Will Sister George live to tell the tale or will Ginger, Nurse Lawrence, Mrs Hinch or even Clarabell Cow be the shape of the future for the British listening public?
The Killing of Sister George by Franc Marcus combines laughter and tears in a wonderful evening of theatre not to be missed.
The Killing of Sister George
Reviewed by: Jose Harrison on Thursday, 6th December, 2018.
Venue: Felpham Village Hall
Type of Production: Play.
Director: Gill Lambourn
I was really worried that Regis players was about to fold having heard nothing from them all the year. It was therefore with great delight that I was able to accept their kind invitation to see ‘The Killing of Sister George’. There is a lot of talent hidden away in the small village of Felpham and we were treated to a great slice of it in this production. Speaking to one of the members some time ago he said that sometimes you have to give a production for the cast and not just for the audience. How right he was. At the time he was performing as one of the four men involved in ‘Waiting for Godot’ obviously revelling in the show. They kept the audience spellbound even though the play may not have been to everyone's taste. This production comes into the same category also with only four performers which meant that the cast members were very busy and, on this occasion the subject of the play was certainly controversial especially when it first came out in the 1960s.
There was an excellent pairing of two lesbians June Buckridge (Sister George) played by Sue Bartlett and Alice (Childie) Deborah Addicott who made a very thought prevoking double act. Sister George is worried that she is about to be killed off in her radio play that has been her life for the past seven years. Everything about Sue was outstanding, her facial expressions, her use of pauses, her menacing treatment of Childie and her total approach to their relationship made her come over as a mixture of pathetic and yet a bully expecting her own way at all times. Deborah made a brilliant contrast appearing as rather simple and immature but was, in fact, rather devious with a hidden past. She managed to swap her personalities to suit her situation ending up getting exactly what she wants. Both of these players gave outstanding performances, were word perfect and barely left the stage during the whole show.
Onto the scene comes Mrs Mercy, convincingly played by Yvette Walters, who works for the BBC and is June’s boss in an indirect way. She also has lesbian tendencies but this doesn’t become that apparent until the end of Act 2. Her courting of Childie was clever and sensitive and her whole approach to both the ladies artfully handled. Another small part was played by Liz Knight as Madam Xenia the psychometrist who wafts into their life giving advice and solace. I loved her accent, her walk and her brilliant costumes.
My complements to all the technical crew and the stage builders for their outstanding efforts. Sadly this play does not necessarily attract large audiences but those who came were certainly given an outstanding theatrical experience and value for money. My congratulations to Gill for her clever handling of the direction, especially in the more sensitive scenes.