The Book club by Roger Hall

15 Oct

THE BOOK CLUB by Roger Hall
at the Kings Head. ***

Performed by Amanda Muggleton as Deborah Martin.

Amanda Muggleton began her career at the Kings Head after her Guildhall Training. Recently she has been working mostly in the Antipodes – it is a great pleasure to see her back to do this often funny one woman show..
Apparently in the past ladies used to get together at Bridge clubs. I actually remember as a child, our house being taken over by card tables and chairs for Whist Drives for the benefit of various charities. There was a great deal of baking involved on these occasions. Nowadays it seems that it is the Book Club that has taken over from the card games.
In Deborah’s book club, the guests are asked to bring something sweet and something dry. In other words desert and a bottle of wine. Each of the characters brings the things that characterises them. The rich woman who brings cheap wine, the sexy one brings Prosecco etc. They all talk about their book choice obviously laughs about Fifty Shades of Grey.
The characters are diverse and all are performed by Amanda Muggleton which gives her an opportunity to use her undoubted talent for dialect and characterisation. She does the Welsh, the Greek and the The farting dog etc.

. But the book club is only the first part of the play. It is just to set up the middle class element of the woman Deborah. She worries about her daughter who is having an affair with a married man. The daughter who thinks of her mother as a dull housewife ‘How can you solve a problem that can’t be sorted by bleach?’ But Deborah likes to clean and to cook. She will cook dinners for her husband and later she will also cook for the writer she meets who is in the middle of Work in Progress. This starts the most interesting part of the play .Deborah has an extramarital affair. This is entertaining and very funny as we follow her journey through guilt and pleasure. He is a man who makes her laugh…a writer separated from his wife and living in squalor, which she finds rather exciting Lovely lines about her lying on the floor and looking at the dust under the bed. She doesn’t know what to say – her thought is ‘Michael where do you keep your vacuum cleaner’
Amanda has performed this many times before but not in England. I must admit to being a little surprised at the audience’s happy response to the book club jokes. I found them difficult to enjoy. A distinguished member of the first night audience said ‘I hate book clubs’ maybe I do too. The play is written by New Zealand author Roger Hall. Directed by Nadia Tass

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