Henley Players Blissfully Wedded to Their Stage Characters in The Philadelphia Story
Mr & Mrs Seth Lord invite you to the marriage of their daughter Tracy to George Kettridge was the premise of The Philadelphia Story performed by The Henley Players at the Kenton last week but it didn’t quite work out that way!
This funny American play originally written by Philip Barry for Katherine Hepburn was a complex comedy with characters impersonating others and a romantic plot which could have gone three ways! Caroline Hopkins, enjoying her 25th year with Henley Players and formerly from the US, trumped playing Margaret (Tracy’s Mother) with ease and her motherly expressions were on point. Gráinne Harling, another Henley Player stalwart, playing the main part of Tracy saw her superbly keep in character throughout including her excellent deliverance of her lines when she was pretending to be drunk after quite a few glasses of champagne! We loved Mrs M, the servant played by Pam Pitts-Simmons, who appeared on cue with the best one liners and expressions! Stephen Taylor-Brown, playing Mike the reporter, was also really good too, in just his third time on stage particularly during the fight scene.
It was the first American play The Henley Players have produced since The Graduate in 2009. The whole cast did incredibly well to deliver and remember their long dialogues, keeping their accents and their characters. The staging, set and props were reproduced well for 1939 with an old telephone, camera, painting, furniture etc. and the cast had a few costume changes to manoeuvre. We were though worried a little about the heavy, tall staging for the porch scene.
It’s brilliant that we have such a thriving amateur dramatic scene in Henley with shows that are anything but amateur.
The Henley Players next production will be A Bunch of Amateurs by Ian Hislop and Nick Newman at the Kenton Theatre between 18-21 October 2023.
For more information or to join the Henley Players, contact Grainne Harling at firstname.lastname@example.org
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