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Sidmouth Manor Pavilion Theatre - An Inspector Calls (with James Pellow)

Folks who know me very well often say, kindly I think, that I should get out more. I’m a grumpy old sod at the best of times and in the ...

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Neighbourhood Watch (St Andrews Players)

A few thoughts on Ayckbourn's play.

Hang on I can hear you saying. He can’t review Neighbourhood Watch, he were in the bloody thing. And what’s more Milord, he beds the woman who directed it. Bloody disgrace. Have you anything to say in your defence? Well yes, actually. Lots. I am perfectly entitled to pass my comments on Neighbourhood Watch – the play – and my experience on being in this particular production. It’s my bloody blog after all. That’s three bloodys – now four – reflecting both my age and heightened level of seasonal grumpiness but we shall let that pass. All I shall say is that theatre, in its various forms, has figured pretty large in my life for nigh on sixty years, and for most of them Alan Ayckbourn has never been far from my thoughts or involvement. Scarborough’s first citizen has kept me and thousands of others in harmless occupation for almost half a century. And we all love him. Witness our little production at Toddington’s delightful theatre and last year when I did Table Manners with my Harpenden group. Full houses all round. Folks cannot get enough of him. Over two hundred and fifty people came away from St Andrews Neighbourhood Watch full of their own opinion, and being theatre there would be two hundred and fifty different ones, but came they did. When all else fails in amateur theatre, when the coffers run dry, do an Ayckbourn goes the cry.

I shall name drop here. I once spent an illuminating day with Alan Ayckbourn when he was at the height of his powers, turning out masterpieces of middle class comedic angst by the bucket load. The Norman Conquests, Relatively Speaking, Season Greetings, Absent Friends, Absurd Person Singular.  All rich in the frailties of human nature and, generally, pretty thin on plot. That is what made them special. Disparate folks thrown together in situations they could not avoid. Our fun came from sitting back and wallowing in the refined way they usually went at each other’s throats. Their strength was their interconnecting baggage, an essential ingredient of Ayckbourn’s best plays. Neighbourhood Watch does not have that richness which is why it sits firmly in the middle of this Master’s canon, still miles in front of lesser modern dramatists, and may explain its failure to make the West End. Just my opinion of course. The central characters, Martin and Hilda, are new to the area and have no pre conceived ideas about anyone. They, like the audience, have to learn as the play progresses. The three supporting couples, I think I can loosely use that term, would rarely interact offstage. Only the absurdist situation throws them all together. All great fun for both actors and audience and heightening in the second half into black farce, but the laughter comes from that farcical situation not from recognition. No self respecting police force would allow anyone to build stocks on a public roundabout or seal off their middle class development from council estate yobbos. However attractive the proposition might be. And it is that essential recognition of oneself in seemingly ordinary but fraught situations that sees Ayckbourn at his best. The Bluebell Development folks of Neighbourhood Watch offer a rich seam to mine for laughs but, except spasmodically, little insight into the human condition that litters the Ayckbourn classics.

For those interested I spent that day (1974) with Ayckbourn when he was rehearsing his new play, Confusions, and he smoked lots of my fags and gave me a real insight into how he works. A theatrical icon and a great bloke. Bit like Martin in Neighbourhood Watch. Always willing to help other people. And in our production our Martin, and the others, certainly helped me. When you have been treading the boards for nigh on sixty years you have few illusions and even less ambition. I had my own personal reasons for getting involved in this one and, lines delivered in approximately the right order, I am relieved to get back to blogging and directing. Only the young or the almost young can find any real pleasure or satisfaction in performing on a stage. Unless it is for money. But I have to say, grumpily or otherwise, they were a great team to work with and, as a bonus, in a super little theatre. TADS, like Barn at Welwyn, St Albans Company of Ten, and Dunstable Rep have that one precious asset that ensures straight theatre for amateurs will survive. Their own place. I ain’t singling anyone out in this very personal blog on St Andrews Players production of Neighbourhood Watch. Except one. Paul Horsler. TADS Theatre Manager. All of us, cast, company, and that woman I go to bed with give him a big thank you. And Alan Ayckbourn of course. I reckon, over the past forty odd years, he has repaid those fags in spades. Roy Hall


Monday, 28 September 2015

Sherlock Holmes (TADS)

Sherlock Holmes
TADS Theatre
September 2015

I really shouldn’t be doing this. I mean, I have been treading those bloody boards myself recently and any arse about face from me will ring derisive hoots loud enough to be heard at the Edinburgh Festival. But, my excuse, I am at that age when what you say and know far outweighs what you do. Ageing politicians and prostitutes have the same occupational problems. So I am told. But instinctive desire for discretion has oft, in the past, failed to stop me barging in with a blunderbuss. Theatre does that. Good or bad, everyone has an opinion. Mine is here and, blunderbuss fully charged, first thoughts on TADS Sherlock Holmes is that someone, somewhere, should have employed a very large pair of theatrical scissors. Not on the cast, mainly pretty good, but on a script that would have sent me to sleep while learning the first act. The plot aint complex, a chase for indiscreet letters and photographs, but the exposition is. Never have so many toiled for so little. On a basic set which benefited from Paul Horsler’s imaginative lighting for changed locations, a motley collection of ne’er-do-wells chase the MacGuffin. A statuesque Madge Larrabee (Tracey Chatterley) leads the baddies and our old pal, or in this case young, Sherlock Holmes (Anthony Bird) bats for the goodies. To infuse an extra interest we also have a vengeful Moriarty (Iain Grant) obsessed, as ever, with the downfall of Holmes. It could all be great fun as tongue in cheek caper. But as serious but light drama, Arthur Conan Doyle’s venture into staging his eponymous hero, yes I know he had help, rarely fired realistic bullets. Perhaps it’s me. The audience, or most of them, roared at the end. But they do that on Strictly Come Dancing and that is even more tiresome. But unimpressed as I was by the play I have to say I was quite taken with some of the performances. Anthony Bird is always eminently watchable and his fresh faced and gentle Holmes had a lightness of touch and delivery that constantly pleased. He was well matched by Steven Pryer’s slightly vacant and bemused Dr Watson who, equally gentle playing, conjured echoes of those old Rathbone and Nigel Bruce films from the thirties. I liked these two, they helped you warm toes on old memories. Moriarty is also an old memory, mainly unwelcome, and Iain Grant played this epitome of a villain with consummate skill and theatrical panache. I liked not liking this villain, if you know what I mean. Tracey Chatterley trilled her various character bits with aplomb and Jessica Lacey, possessor of those much desired letters, turned in a fragile and convincing damsel in distress. It is not surprising that old Sherlock, uncharacteristically, fell for her charms. As I did for the effervescent bell boy Billy of Harry Rodgers, well he looked like a bellboy, jumping in and out of the set like a ferret on heat. I warmed to him as I did the contrasting old Dr Watson retainer Parsons (Richard Wood). You couldn’t see him jumping anywhere. But with a lugubrious persona that artists and photographers would kill for, you could not but like him. Chloe White did a decent directing job, even if she did mislay her scissors, but I do smack her wrist for not toning down Adam Butcher’s villainous sidekick Jim Larrabee. If this play had been the spoofish melodrama it probably should have been his heavily laid vocals may have been perfect. But Miss White didn’t direct it like that and a generally fine actor came over just a tad too strong. It is, of course, only an opinion. As is all the rest. So if I do tread any of the local boards, in a misguided reprise of my past, I trust the lighting will be suitably angled and the set firmly in place. Holmes and Watson, elementary my dears, would not have it any other way. Roy Hall

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

The Theatre Season That Never Was (A Rambling Blog)

Those amongst you who, having nothing better to do, occasionally read this blog will be aware that things have been pretty quiet this year. My opinion, revered or reviled, on all things theatrical has been as absent as a bishop in a brothel. In other words, hastily explaining my tortuous analogy, if you saw me in the foyer it was a pretty rare sighting. There are numerous reasons for me not buying my grubby ticket and scribbling my equally grubby thoughts, but do not worry folks I have no intention of offloading them all here. The main one most of you know, a crisis in my life with the lovely her indoors, which in its drama and aftermath knocked out much of what little bit of stuffing I have. I treat it lightly now but in those dark days of late March life literally lost its meaning. And I cannot thank you lot enough for all the wonderful thoughts and support. But that’s enough of the serious bit. You come on here for a laugh, usually at my misguided opinions, not a sentimental wallow. So let us, as the police often say, move along please.

I did take in a few things either side of that crisis. Wheathampstead gave me an interesting Double Double and I am sure their Ibsen’s Ghosts would have been riveting if they hadn’t cancelled it. There you are folks, a rave review without even putting the play on. And, because I no longer drive at night, I roped in two Saturday matinees at the delightful Barn Theatre in Welwyn. The Ladykillers and The Thrill Of Love. Both, given the lousy results, worth missing the horseracing for. That bit about night driving is allied to another reason for my frequent absences. I am rapidly turning into Harpenden’s own Mr Magoo. Myopia, age and tablets have a lot to answer for. I just thank God I can still see Ladbrokes and the drinks bottle. But if you want my slant on your coruscating latest you may have to do a Mrs Worthington and put me on stage slap bang in the middle of your Troilus and Cressida. No, I’ve never seen it either and, given my dodgy mince pies, probably now never will.

When you have finished googling Worthington and Magoo, for God’s sake have you nothing better to do, you may, briefly, return your attention to things I regret not seeing. Or at least hearing. The Rep’s Anne Frank, Company of Ten’s The Vortex, ACT’s Les Miserables would have all been worth seeing. So I have been told and I never argue with opinions. I will of course now get a letter, that old fashioned missive, from the estimable Joe Butcher demanding an explanation for the omission of Yes Prime Minister from the list. My only excuse is that I cannot, however much I try, not see everything. If you know what I mean. I am buggered if I do. Whilst on the subject of eyes I also did not see summer, July 1st for those with a short memory, Lord Lucan, the March eclipse of the sun that never was, at least here in Harpenden, the Naked Rambler, the first cuckoo, or a four leaf clover. I did see, in advance, Qualify winning the Oaks at 50/1 and the Tories winning the election against all the odds. Brains compensating for vision he says with appalling smugness at being right.

Equally what I also did not see, and here comes the point of this rambling blog, was me immersed in lines for two portrayals I never expected to perform in a roller coaster year. And giving them a plug so those who can, and if so inclined, come along and throw bricks of appreciation or flowers of rage. Or something like that. I care not which, providing they are lovingly wrapped in fifty pound notes. I detail them below, where I also detail much more sincerely and seriously a few words about those dedicated folks at the Luton and Dunstable Hospital who figured high in my life for a few traumatic days in March. Playing William Shakespeare is a breeze compared with that.

That dedicated team in the Intensive Care Unit at Luton and Dunstable Hospital, and the paramedics who initially responded to my call, saved my wife’s life. It is as simple as that. She spent two weeks in the ITC, ten days of them in an induced coma and for the first five or six no one, including the medical experts, knew whether she would live or die. But they threw everything at her and pulled her through from a combination of a vicious flu virus and viral pneumonia. They were amazing. Doctors and Nurses, with twenty four hour dedication laced with consummate expertise and gentle and happy compassion. Especially for me. We all complain when we have to wait umpteen weeks for our in growing toenail to be attended but, in a crisis, the National Health Service comes up trumps. I cannot thank them enough.  But for them the only thanks they wanted, and got, was seeing my wife walk out of that hospital three weeks later. Their joy was almost as much as mine. Roy Hall



‘Dark Lady of the Sonnets’ by George Bernard Shaw (Shaw’s Corner, Ayot St Lawrence) – Sunday 6th September 2015 2.00pm and 3.00pm. (High St Players)


‘Neighbourhood Watch’ by Alan Ayckbourn (High Town Leisure Centre) – Wednesday 21st October to Friday 23rd October 7.30pm. (St Andrews Players)



Sunday, 14 June 2015

The Thrill Of Love (Barn Theatre)

I like my murderers, mainly Victorian and Edwardian I hasten to add. They are part of our rich history. And I like my murderesses even more. Adelaide Bartlett, even though she got off, Mrs Maybrick, Madeleine Smith. All had poisonous charm. Literally. Ruth Ellis, hanged for a murder she definitely did, does not have their appeal but any dramatisation of an old famous murder case will get my theatrical juices racing. Which probably explains why I tootled along to Barn Theatre’s The Thrill of Love for a long overdue review. Amanda Whittington’s play does not have the emotional grip of Rattigan’s Cause Celebre or the heartrending impact of A Pin to see the Peepshow, dramatisations of famous murder cases, but it nevertheless made for a pretty absorbing couple of hours.

Ruth Ellis is one of those who, if she had not tragically existed, someone would have made her up. Stuck between the dying days of post war fifties poverty and the beckoning swinging sixties she lived life to the full. Blasting away her hedonistic and brutal lover on an open London street she immortally died on the gallows for it. I say immortally because not only was she the last woman this country hanged but her execution was a complete travesty of English justice. Mrs Ellis may have believed she deserved to die, but judged from the twenty first century no one else thinks so. Like some before her, Ruth Ellis remains an immutable stain on the British justice system.

Well, now I have got that off my chest what did I think of it. Barn’s production that is. I mean, this is a theatrical blog not a personal rant on the past failures of our beloved legal system. Clearly I am out of practice. Or is it practise, I never know. Illiterate that I am. But even illiterates can see it ain’t easy telling the tale of Ruth Ellis. There are so many facts, so many characters, so many people and incidents who accompanied Mrs Ellis on her fateful journey. The man whose name she took, the night club owner who introduced her to the highs and lows of London life, the wannabe starlet who tragically died in a car crash. The beatings, the babies, the abortions. And the men. Etched in her personal tragedy. David Blakeley, racing driver friend of the more famous Mike Hawthorn and total public schoolboy shit. At least where women were concerned until six bullets shut him up. And Desmond Cussen, shadowy alternative lover and gun supplier to Ellis. So it is said. So many facts, so much to say. So much to explain. It is always the case when a rope is going around a neck. Especially when it is the neck of a pretty peroxide blonde night club hostess rich in emotions but short on control.

Strict literal dramatisation or straight, dry and forensic, courtroom drama are options Amanda Whittington probably considered and dismissed. I am guessing here but that has never stopped me in the past. Theatrically cheaper is to get a few actors, characters and composite characters, to tell the tragic tale in a series of simply staged scenes. It generally worked, even if in the first act I was yearning for more dramatic punch, and gradually a life gleaned from statements, police reports, and courtroom evidence emerged. By the end, particularly in an emotionally strong scene when Ruth Ellis is visited in Holloway prison by her female associates, the enormity and the futility of what she has done is writ large. Here was a woman destroyed by men, first those in her desolate life and then the ones in a legal system failing to understand it. ‘When you fired that revolver into David Blakeley what did you intend to do?’ With her answer ‘It’s obvious, I intended to kill him.’ she ensured her place in history.

Georgina Bennett was an impressive Ruth Ellis and touches of vulnerability were effectively mixed with feisty fragility. If heavy spectacles slightly marred my iconic image of this tragic figure I can see why they were used. She was given commendable if quirky support by Josie Matthews (actress and model) and Kat Peacock (charwoman) and, notably, Natalie Gordon (nightclub manageress) as a hard hitting, hard drinking, woman who had seen it all. And as that all came frighteningly apart Miss Gordon’s character wondered at the senselessness of it. All were ciphers for the telling of Ellis’s story as was Clive Weatherley in the sole male role of Detective Inspector. Mixing narrator and chorus Mr Weatherley knitted the tale with skill and watchability. His was the voice of all who think Ruth Ellis was a wasted life.

I reckon director Jon Brown did a pretty faithful job of Amanda Whittington’s interpretation. Simple and effective locations with minimal props moved by the cast. I didn’t particularly like the jokey judge, the style jarred with the second act mood, but that is neither the fault of the actress or the director. It’s in the script milord. As I assume were the heavy glasses. They were taken off by Ruth Ellis as she went to the gallows. To the tune of ‘I’ll be seeing you.’ And anyone who ends a play like this with that song is doing pretty well in my book. Pierrepoint, the hangman, said that executing Ruth Ellis was an act of society’s revenge. I doubt if many, watching this, would disagree with him. Roy Hall





Monday, 23 February 2015

Double Double (Wheathampstead)

Double Double,
Wheathampstead Dramatic Society
February 2015

You have to hand it to the Wheathampstead Players. I have no idea what it is you have to hand to them, stamina pills might not be far off the mark, but hand it to them you do. They have serious form in two-handers. The commendable Educating Rita recently gave us a pair of actors doing their own version of a Mo Farrar theatrical marathon and in Double Double Jonathan Field and Irene Morris threw their own particular hats into this difficult staging ring. I take my own hat off to them, and if I had two then both would be doffed. Not because I thought the production of this entertaining play from Eric Elice and Roger Rees was perfect, far from it in a script lacking an all consuming style, but because the two actors were pleasingly skilful and eminently watchable. And that ain’t easy when, read the cast programme, they are completely on their own. You hear about a variety of offstage characters but none are destined to appear. No light relief from a comic maid or a sinister lawyer here. Field and Morris is all you are going to get for your eight quid.
Before I get bogged down in what passes for a review let’s give you a smidgeon of the plot. It helps you know. Well heeled Phillipa James needs a man to pose as her dead husband so she can inherit a lucrative trust on what would have been the fiftieth birthday of the late and not so lamented spouse. She finds one, a dead ringer for her old man, in a wandering hobo with the look of a Russian peasant and the thick sound of haggis and whisky. Cue a bit of Pygmalion trickery and bob’s your uncle. Yes, I know, it stretched my credibility as well. Not that it matters. Underpin with the complexity of Anthony Shaeffer’s Sleuth or the sexual ambiguity of Pinter and Double Double would pay rich dividends. But the Elice and Rees play never threatens those theatrical heights, sexual play is neither gripping nor ambiguous and delicious plot twists are limited to the surprising, and pleasing, end. It was all a husband and wife insurance scam after all. And if that spoils it for any lazy folks who have yet to see it I apologise, but three night runs of an old chestnut allow such an indulgence . It was clever in its denouement, but not enough on its own to prop up a piece rich in theatrical possibilities but pretty ordinary in exposition.
In the final analysis it all comes down to the respective merits of the protagonists. After all, they didn’t write the script they merely played with the words. And here Jonathan Field as the cultured hobo Duncan McFee and Irene Morris as the pseudo rich Phillipa James did sterling jobs. Mr Field never put a foot wrong in a first class portrayal of a man seemingly out of his depth and out of his league and Miss Morris, diction as clear as always, created a woman whose motives and emotions were never truly revealed. Both actors had great fun in reprises of rehearsed shenanigans, upper class husband home from the office, and if I level a semblance of criticism at director Julie Field it is in regard to the underplaying of sexual chemistry and not persuading the admirable Miss Morris to occasionally drop her guard. I reckon I wanted a touch more vulnerability from a woman who was, as eventually revealed, playing a pretty dangerous game.
But not for the first time that is me being picky folks. You don’t get meaningless pats on the head on these blogs. In depth incisive theatrical points just flow. Or some other such rubbish. And, amongst all this rubbish, can I say that for whatever the play’s faults it was a pretty good evening. I spent all of the interval working out a variety of impossible scenarios. And my companions did the same. And we went home chatting about it and, not for the first time, saying that in Irene Morris and Jonathan Field the Wheathampstead Players have two bloody good actors. Word perfect, good pace, nicely choreographed. Two actors, double double, and oodles of stamina pills. They were both in the bar afterwards. I am not surprised. Roy Hall


Monday, 26 January 2015

The Ladykillers (Barn Theatre) - Full Review

Hello, they say? Who they are I have no idea but they say it all the same. What’s he doing trolling around Welwyn? Come on here expecting an insightful piece on Dunstable Rep’s Abigail and stumble on this. Barn Theatre? Sounds a bit shabby. And in Welwyn for God’s sake, wherever that is. One of those snobby garden cities somewhere south of the B653 that we of the Bedfordshire ilk rarely visit. Might do John Lewis in the sales on a wet day but nothing else. Don’t even have a football team as far as we know. Grumble, grumble.
Or something like that. My excuse, if needed, is that I did not fancy my umpteenth viewing of Abigail’s Party, good as I am sure it was, and if I didn’t post something soon regular readers would think I had been washed away with the Christmas sherry. My abiding memories of Mike Leigh’s piece are a stunning Alison Steadman (TV) and the equally brilliant Angela Goss (Rep). Consummate fag in mouth Beverleys from yesteryear. My abiding memory of The Ladykillers is that team of beautifully crafted gangsters, forever captured on celluloid with the innocent old lady of Katie Johnson. A classic 1950s film of the kind they do not make anymore. Taking in a latter day stage version of those iconic villains on a free Saturday afternoon seemed like a good idea. Better than a cold night drive to Dunstable for my seventh Abigail. Besides, in daylight you could see that the Barn Theatre, Welwyn, is a bloody long way from being shabby.
And so was their set. Director Rosemary Bianchi designed it and this lady has seriously good form. Her creation for Hitchin’s Hay Fever was the icing on the top of a very rich cream cake. And in The Ladykillers, solid and crammed King’s Cross terraced house oozed reality and seedy locality. The closeness of the essential railway line where more than coal gets despatched to Newcastle was cleverly hinted in the sloping slate roof. No detail was spared, including the old fashioned front door beautifully slammed in the face of a gushing guest, and my only grouse is that the acting space for five fiddling musicians would require a pretty skinny cat for even a modicum of swing. But you can’t have everything and overall Miss Bianchi’s set pleased. One got the impression that this Barn lot do not do things by halves. No poncy black curtaining and two symbolic wooden boxes for them. They did have a curtain. A downstage, rather tatty, grey one. I shall draw a veil on my thoughts on that except to say that it took gloss off a classy production. Highlighted actors would have been better served by clever use of lighting. The company were well capable of it.
So what about those actors, highlighted or not, in a theatre and on a set bereft of barely a smidgeon of shabby. The motley crew of villainous musicians generally did a fair stab from a script by Graham Linehan that laid heavily on crude visual comedy. None of the Ealing subtlety here. Wasn’t their fault if I cringed a bit at cross dressing majors and desperate folks crammed in a downstairs cupboard. It’s my age I suppose. Eamon Goodfellow gave arch villain and mastermind Professor Marcus tremendous oomph and gave all of his scenes that injection of pace that, sometimes, his fellow conspirators lacked. He had a touch of  Gyles Brandreth (google him) about him which was engaging , even down to the slightly overdone nervous laugh, and his second act speech justifying a travesty of musical orchestration almost convinced even me. I formed the impression that this was a fine actor thoroughly enjoying himself. No bad thing in such a load of nonsense.
None of the other villains matched Mr Goodfellow for skill but all, even if not totally erasing memories of Herbert Lom and his mates, made their mark. If I single out one it has to be Adam Dryer’s Louis Harvey. This was the quintessential squat foreign spy beloved of cartoonists. All black beard, threatening hat, and metaphorical bomb under arm. Meet him on a dark night and you would promise to always kiss and love your mother in law. Mr Harvey did not always project lines with cutting flair but he looked, and sounded, every inch a very nasty piece of work. Well worthy of a trip to Newcastle on the nearest convenient train. And there were a lot of them. Chris White turned in a nice cameo as a policeman richer in plod than imagination and Wendy Bage led a plethora of elderly ladies with a nice refined aplomb. I loved the slamming of the front door on her gushing face but, as I have said that before, I will not repeat myself. These blogs don’t come cheap you know.
And what of Mrs Louisa Wilberforce, that gentle old lady of Katie Johnson fame? Maureen Davies did not eclipse her, who could, but she certainly matched her in a performance both refined in its portrayal and faithful in its interpretation. I loved her and the finest compliment I can pay Miss Davies is that, not for a moment, did I make any comparisons. She contrasted and complemented her extremely dodgy lodgers with a beautiful, old fashioned, dignity. And that, in The Ladykillers, is how it should be. So Barn Theatre, neither shabby in edifice nor  in presentation, entertained on my inaugural reviewing visit. Tainted with my opinion some would say. I hope they like it.  But, mindful of self preservation, I shall steer clear of Newcastle bound coal trains for a little while. Just in case. Roy Hall






Saturday, 24 January 2015

The Ladykillers - Barn Theatre (Welwyn)

Maureen Davies makes for a delightfully eccentric landlady and Eamon Goodfellow an equally effective and idiosyncratic chief villain in Barn Theatre's slant on this iconic Ealing Comedy of the 1950s. Graham Linehan's stage script lacked the gentle subtlety of the original and gangster musicians were often forced to dance to a contrived theatrical tune. But all, from cerebrally challenged boxer to a cross dressing major, made some contribution. Chris White particularly scored as a policeman rich in plod and lacking in imagination. Rosemary Bianchi pulled all the directorial strings and a group of technical cleverclogs conjured up a variety of convincing trains. Somewhere amongst my ramblings next week I shall give The Ladykillers a fuller, more considered, review. It is time Barn were tainted with my opinion. Roy Hall