Lockdown laughs in Little Grimley double bill as Windmill Players returned to Thornton Little Theatre

The Windmill Players brought light-hearted humour to Thornton Little Theatre in two short plays about a terrible amateur dramatics club.

By Lucinda Herbert
Tuesday, 14th June 2022, 1:23 pm
Updated Tuesday, 14th June 2022, 1:24 pm
L to R: Marjorie Brown, Denise Flynn, Anne George and Mark Edmonds from the Windmill Players performing in Murder In Little Grimley on 9 June 2022
L to R: Marjorie Brown, Denise Flynn, Anne George and Mark Edmonds from the Windmill Players performing in Murder In Little Grimley on 9 June 2022

Normally it would be considered an insult to say I went to watch a group of terrible actors, but when the plays are set in Little Grimley it’s meant as a compliment.

Tonight the Windmill Players were pretending to be ‘hopeless thespians who couldn’t act their way out of a paper bag’, but the Thornton based actors gave a polished, dynamic performance that had the Little Theatre crowd in stitches.

The double-dose of comedy dramas, written by David Tristram, were both fast-paced and packed with zingy one-liners and relatable situations, and four loveable personalities.

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They are part of a series of plays about the Little Grimley amateur dramatics society - a group that can’t act, argue about everything and rarely have an audience.

Each play has a different cast - and the actors put their own slant on the characters. Both groups gelled nicely together and gave a dynamic performance.

There’s the director, Gordon - pompous and full of big ideas that never amount to much.

Snooty Margaret is at loggerheads with everyone, especially Bernard – who brings his building-site banter to the group.

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Joyce is a dithering dearie who can never remember her lines and is an open target for Gordon’s put-downs. Denise Flynn played this character exceptionally well in Murder in Little Grimley – the audience was glad when she got revenge on her fellow thespians after a practical joke at her expense.

The first of the plays, Lockdown in Little Grimley got plenty of knowing laughs from the full crowd. It’s packed with Covid humour that went down a treat. Hoarding loo-rolls, and spacing out the chairs using a tape measure, and debates about how virus-proof Margaret’s leopard print mask is.

There’s self-depreciating quips, pointing out that ten empty seats between each person is a step up from their usual shows.

And while the gang are rehearsing for an NHS fundraising play - ‘Phantom of the Opera(ting theatre)’, Bernard has a medical emergency of his own.

With razor sharp dialogue and impeccable comic timing, the Windmill Players brought these hilarious plays to life.