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HAVE YOUR          SAY.....

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The Saints Go Marching In... to the Breeches.

Cast and company of Into the Breeches! Photo courtesy of The Saints.

Into the Breeches. The Saints Dramatic Group, Allesley Village Hall from 9 to 13 October.

Adapted from the play by George Brant, directed by Daniel Peckett and Katie McGee.

Review by Ann Evans

This is a play within a play! The Saints Dramatic Society based in Allesley Village are staging Into the Breeches all this week which is about a small community theatre staging a play!

It’s all about a drama group led by Maggie Dalton (Ruth Herd) – the wife of the group’s regular director Andrew Dalton who is seriously ill in hospital. The story is set in 1982 at the time of the Falklands War and has news broadcasts of the ongoing situation running as a thread throughout the play, which is particularly poignant as some of the characters’ husbands are away fighting for their country.

The Director Maggie (Ruth Herd) and diva Celeste (Barbara Marinakis) cross swords! Photo courtesy of The Saints.

However, things are going far from smoothly for Director Maggie. Male cast members are outraged that a woman with no directing experience intends putting on Shakespeare’s Henriad and have walked out in protest. But Maggie is determined to make the play work despite having only a few loyal people to rely on who are normally working behind the scenes – not forgetting Celeste Fielding (Barbara Marinakis) a seasoned thespian and quite the drama queen and self-appointed superstar of the group! Marinakis plays the role of diva to perfection! However, she is another one for resolute Maggie to convince that she can make this play work.

Maggie battles on, assisted by backstage assistant Stuart (Jason Riley) and the wardrobe lady Ida (Judy Blu). Auditions are held with three hopeful wannabe actors getting parts – Grace (Shannon Lea), young and insecure who doesn’t know how good she is; Winifred (Katie McGee) who plays her part with fantastic subtle humour and perfect timing; and June (Emma Brogan) who opens up a can of worms when she demands to know why Stuart was dishonourably discharged from the Army.

June (Emma Brogan) shows her gratitude to the director. Photo courtesy of The Saints.

Meanwhile Director Maggie struggles on against committee decisions, and against Celeste’s complaints regarding the part she should play, and hatred from those who want to see her fail. Further tragedies befall Maggie until she’s on the verge of giving up on the whole idea.

This is a play that looks at so many issues such as tolerance and friendship, loyalty and support. It also touches on racial issues, homosexuality and grief – heavy topics which the Saints handle with sensitivity, skill and believability – and a good helping of humour!

The directors, Daniel Peckett and Katie McGee have done a great job in staging Into the Breeches and I have to say also that there is some brilliant acting in this production from all the cast with star performances from Ruth Herd as Maggie, Barbara Marinakis as Celeste and Judy Blu as Ida.

Tickets are still available for the remaining performances. Be sure to get yours soon.

Further details and tickets call the Box Office on 07927 319985 or visit:


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