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Apple pie USA with a helping of the KKK

The Foreigner, Saints Dramatic Society at Allesley Village Hall until February 17.

A bold choice of play by the popular Saints group at Allesley - and perhaps even bolder of director Adrian Edgar to offer five newcomers the chance to join the seven-strong cast.

Not that any of them let him down in this crackerbarrel tale set in the huntin-shootin-fishin' heart of Klu-Klux-Klan territory.

It's a quirky story, to put it mildly - but the stage just oozes atmosphere and I loved the "Trump - Let's Make America Great Again" tee-shirt sported by Kevin Jones who plays hardman Owen.

This slogan stops us from basking in the idea that this is an America of the past. It's a gentle enough comedy for the most part, but the Klan still exists out in areas where there are log cabins like the one brilliantly recreated on the stage of Allesley Village Hall, complete with dead fish mounted on the walls, sewing machines in the corner and a moose likely to poke its head through the window at any minute.

Congratulations to set designer Mark Smithers and his assistants.

Congratulations too to Saints' regular Lucinda Toomey for her role as Betty and the accent she maintained throughout the action as she gets to grips with her new house guest Charlie, played by the experienced Jonathan Greaves. Accents are not a lot of use to Jonathan who has to settle for a mixture of two parts Klingon stirred with one part Gobbledegook as he erupts into a language entirely of his own making.

His re-enactment of an anecdote, told in his own mysterious tongue, is very funny as are his scenes with Mark Perryman who made an extremely promising debut as the slow-thinking Ellard.

I also thought Catherine Simms displayed stage presence and had obviously worked hard on her accent as the lovely Helena, while Aran Eardley made a very creditable dodgy preacher and Kart Murugesan - who got poor Charlie into this fine mess in the first place - set the opening scenes well.

* Tickets ANY-Web Community Websites or 07927 319985.

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