Stars explained: * A production of no real merit with failings in all areas. ** A production showing evidence of not enough time or effort, or even talent, and which never breathes any real life into the piece – or a show lumbered with a terrible script. *** A good enjoyable show which might have some small flaws but has largely achieved what it set out to do.**** An excellent show which shows a great deal of work and stage craft with no noticeable or major flaws.***** A four star show which has found that extra bit of magic which lifts theatre to another plane.
Half stars fall between the ratings

nonsense head

Perfect Nonsense

The Nonentities

The Rose Theatre. Kidderminster


THE Nonentities seem to have an unfair advantage over many other amateur companies in being able to dip into a rich pool of acting talent and accomplished directing skills, to be able to deliver some first class theatre work.

Perfect Nonsense is a great example of this with the trio of actors Simon Hawkins, Joe Harper and Tom Rees, under the lead of director Tori Wakeman, creating a faultless and beautifully timed production that is both original and entertaining.

This new play by the Goodale Brothers adapts the P.G Wodehouse’s book The Code of the Woosters and presents it in a highly theatrical manner.

It’s both mad cap and chaotic and the rules of the stage are deconstructed and played with in a way which narrates the tale in an almost Monty Pythonesque manner. The result is a playful and engaging production that takes this ridiculously flimsy middle class tale of country house weekenders and turns it completely on its head. Tom Rees and Joe Harper

With just three players playing every character in the recounting of Berties bizarre tale, the principle task fell to Joe Harper as Bertram Wooster. Alongside his acting role he had the job of practically narrating 70 per cent of the story to the audience. This was clearly a mammoth task and Joe Harper could no doubt give lessons on script memory as he was fluent and convincing in every way.

Tom Rees in one of his many roles with Joe Harper as Bertie Wooster   

His trusty Butler Jeeves was played by Tom Rees and again he also delivered a fantastic performance transforming himself into several comical female characters with sometimes nothing but a tasselled standard lampshade.

Simon Hawkins completed the trio of talent as Seppings. Simon literally grew in stature in some parts of his performance, ending up at times 12 feet off the ground in what must be the tallest role in theatre as Roderick Spode. Seppings the butler was said from the outset to possess a talent for impersonation and Mr Hawkins likewise exhibited a great deal of ability, restraint and timing in his collection of wacky characters.

The effective set by Keith Higgins was manoeuvred, replaced and positioned throughout the play by the actors themselves. To do this and then act in their parts must have taken a great deal of energy and added a certain pressure to their performance. Each reset though was faultless and a credit to the entire Nonentities team to make such smooth transitions work so well.

With the story finally told and a series of fake endings the trio ended with a flapper dance that demonstrated the fun aspect of the entire performance and the dedication and great teamwork all three performers have developed in each of their respective roles.

Tori Wakemans direction may have benefited from seeing an excellent recent professional tour but the complexities of achieving a similar result with an amateur company must have been challenging.  Any of those limitations were overcome professionally and in a way that had some members of the audience in fits of laughter.

With enough crazy twists and turns, comical situations and characters to keep a company of twenty busy , in the end it finally came down to the skill of just the three actors to make perfect sense of this perfectly staged nonsense. To 17-09-16.

Jeff Grant


Home Reviews A-Z Reviews by affiliate