Confusions - Review

Alan Ayckbourn's 'Confusions' was an ideal choice for the New Venture Youth Company for its five separate plays provided plenty of opportunity for the young actors and directors to demonstrate their talents.

Each play is connected in some way with the previous one and explores stereotypes such as motherhood where a wife, left alone to bring up the children, loses touch with reality and treats her neighbours as children with amusing results. Her absent husband appears in the next play where he seen pathetically trying to bed young girls that he meets in a bar. Other aspects of infidelity are looked at with hilarious results notably at a garden fete.

An interesting feature of this production was the inventive idea of moving the audience into the bar area of the theatre for two of the plays. It was a pity that the acoustics here differed from the Studio and dialogue at times got lost. It was most noticeable in the play set in the bar with the cast, static on a sofa, having to talk with their heads turned away from the audience most of the time.

This was my first viewing of the Youth Group and I was impressed by the high standard of acting from each member of the cast. In particular I enjoyed Martha Adam's controlled performance as the mother along with the drollness of Graham Nunn's waiter as he continually enquired if all was well with the meal, totally ignoring the blazing rows at both of the tables. Lack of space precludes me from singling out other performances. I look forward to seeing all of them in future productions.

Barrie Jerram