Portrait paints a funny old picture

Kim Carnock (left) and Lorna Meehan painting their own portrait of being an actress

Portrait of an actress as

RoguePlay Theatre Company,

The Other RSC

Station Pub Sutton Coldfield


ACTING is a profession where reality is always at arms length, gushing smiles  of welcome can quickly be replaced by grimaces and insults after parting.

So a play which starts with two actresses bitching behind a screen, changing costumes and characters through a hail of insults and put downs is pretty well par for the course.

Then each argues about what scene to do next followed by attempts to upstage each other at every opportunity.

That is world created by Kim Charnock and Lorna Meehan of RoguePlay Theatre in a play they have written themselves.

There is the job centre bureaucrat who likes forms and moronic questionnaires filled in to a formulae that cannot bend one iota from the straight and narrow confines of  box ticking. Her system just cannot grasp the concept of the transitory work of actresses.

Then there is  the community workshop leader who has to deal with a woman who turns up with her child “I had to bring him, stop doing that you little mongrel”  complaining about a play scheme that costs £1.

For titivation  we have the lusty Shakespeare lecturer who gets excited at all the sexy bits hidden in within the plays of the Bard – and, believe me, there are a lot.


There is the RADA interview where concept  is all or might not be or could be and we have the two old soaks of actors, living on past glories – still bitching of course – and a wife with a reputation who even tried to seduce Noel Coward..

Then we had the critics, not that they were talking about me – I couldn't understood a word they said. If I can't spell it I don't use it which leaves me with the vocabulary of  reasonably talkative parrot.

But anyone who reads some of the gushing in the heavies and specialist mags, or Pseuds Corner in Private Eye,  might recognise some of the pretentious piffle spouted about (make pretend quotation marks in the air) the arts from time to time – post modernistically speaking of course.

A couple of episodes were perhaps not based on experience, such as Hamlet as a somewhat inconsiderate friend after knocking off his girlfriend's father.

All in all though this is a funny show, well observed and with laugh out loud moments. They even managed to cope when a total lighting failure left the room in blackness carrying on manfully in darkness then by the house lights until the spots were restored. “We should put that in the act.” said Lorna. No one had the heart to tell her it was there already.

The duo produce dozens of characters, all well defined,  in scenes which anyone who has ever been involved with acting will find, at times,  very close to home.

Roger Clarke 


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