Worksop: Dukeries serve up the perfect night with Priestley

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Dukeries Theatre Group’s latest production, directed by Gill Wenger, at the Acorn Theatre, Worksop was When We Are Married, a play by JB Priestley.

Set in the north’s West Riding, it concerns the plight of three couples about to celebrate their Silver Wedding Anniversaries only to find out by chance that they may not be legally married.

Priestley’s characters are so well drawn and the Dukeries team took to this play like ducks to water.

The story takes an amusing look at marriage, crystallises out marital types and makes disparaging comments on the pomposity and social climbing of some members of society. He sets the bully alongside the victim and northerner against southerner.

The jaded old photographer, Henry Ormonroyd makes a wonderfully drunken speech towards the close of the play which could be taken as a complete guide to a happy life. Priestley certainly has the answers here.

No-one in this play took a backseat and all gave performances which could be cameos in their own right.

I would just love a one-man show with Peter Burton drunkenly making philosophical observations on life in his character’s endearingly cheerful manner.

Pat Thomas’ no-nonsense housekeeper, Mrs Northrop, could have an audience gripped with her delight in spreading gossip about pompous social climbers and Sue Wiles (barmaid Lottie Grady) could entertain us with tales of her character’s adventures in Blackpool.

I loved the portrayal of the overbearing, pompous and henpecked husbands by Steve Rowan, Andrew Barber and Ian McKeer and the domineering, forthright and mouse-like wives by Alison Betteridge, Trudi Jackson and Ina Clarke.

John Murdoch made an excellent reverend and Gerald

Forbes and Nancy Holmes a lovely couple. Fred Dyson eagerly played the eager young reporter and Laura Sanders brilliantly completed the cast as the irreverent housemaid. What a perfect evening!

Wendy Fidoe