Three One Act Comedies, Bear Pit Theatre, Stratford, to July 13.
Stratford-based Second Thoughts Drama Group has been operating for over 30 years
and enjoys providing opportunities for new writing, as shown in this production.
The most entertaining is Supersnout (pictured above), written by Jane Cafarella and directed by Jane Grafton. Supersnout is a dog whose owner can suddenly understand him and doesn’t like the story he tells about her husband cheating on her. And it gets worse when the husband brings his mistress home. There is drama, a few laughs, and good observations of how dogs and their owners behave.
Oli Williams as the dog is bouncy, funny and does a good dance to Who Let the Dogs Out.
Unfortunately the others two comedies can’t match up.
Wherefore Art Thou Lady Macbeth, (right) is by Margot McCleary, who also appears in the last play. Two actresses imbibe too much in their dressing room while technical problems delay their plays, but then can’t remember which door to go back out of. So Lady Macbeth and Juliet quickly have to learn each other’s roles in case they head to the wrong stage. The situation is too far-fetched, and the farce that could ensue just doesn’t raise many laughs.
In Whisking Eggs (left) by Jackie Lines, a retiring dominatrix takes in a fleeing vicar’s wife as a lodger. It doesn’t take much guessing to work out who one of her clients was, or that the wife will sit on the hidden vibrator, and end up using it as a baking tool. A librarian who hears voices seems an ill-judged addition in an era of understanding about mental health, though Rachel Alcock plays the dominatrix in a good, understated way, and Margot McLeary is fun as a titled woman blaming her eccentricity on “all those drugs”.
There are no bad performances, but it’s a reminder what hard work being funny is.
For tickets go to: www.thebearpit.org.uk