The Company of the Curtain is a member of NODA, the National Operatic & Dramatic Association. Each production we put on is viewed and adjudicated by them, and the reviews printed in their magazine.
Please see a selection of some of our previous reviews below.
'Nobody's Perfect' - 11th - 15th February 2014
Nobody's Perfect depends for its success on four actors, three of whom represent three generations of a very dysfunctional family.
The story centers around shy, divorced statistician Leonard, whose novel has won a competition mounted by a London publishing house, Love is All Around. The trouble is, the competition is for women only. The publishing house is run by women for women, so Leonard wrote the novel under the pseudonym of Myrtle Banbury.
Leonard manages to hoodwink Harriet, who is running the competition, masquerading as Myrtle on the telephone; but things quickly descend into complete farce when Harriet insists upon meeting Myrtle in person, particularly since neither Leonard's somewhat senile but raunchy father, Gus, who has been thrown out of his senior citizen housing for inappropriate behavior, nor his school age daughter, Dee-Dee, is in on the act.
There was good interplay between these four throughout the production, with good pace and clever use of props.
Emma Howes as Dee Dee is surely a star in the making, she was word perfect with some lovely facial expressions. Zena Broadbent gave a lively, believable performance as Harriet and Duncan McLaurie playing Leonard, bought out a lot of the humour from his/her attempts to deceive Harriet over the phone, but his acting abilities excelled when it came to cross-dressing for Harriet's visit.
There were many joyous moments in this production, particularly when Phil Seedhouse, was on stage. He gave a delightful and amusing account of forgetful, lecherous grandfather Gus.
This production, directed by Laura Chinn assisted by Faith Jerromes, was a well-crafted well-directed comedy enjoyed by actors and audience alike. It was also well-served by an excellent set designed by Chris Woodfield which in no small way added to the fun. A thoroughly entertaining night out.
review by Birmingham & District Theatre Guild
'Stepping Out' - 15th - 19th May 2012
Richard Harris' comedy about a class of amateur tap dancers remains as true to life as ever, nearly 30 years after its premiere in 1984. This piece suited this company, the performance space and these actors very well. The majority of the comedy and the meaningful moments in this play come from the hints at life outside the tap class - as these very different women (and one man) let slip more of their lives, we not only see a social divide in morals, reasons for being in the class, levels of confidence, ability and self worth. This piece gives each character more or less equal weighting. These characters were created over 25 years ago but they are still well and alive in out society today.
This group of actors really showed us a lot of character and many of them showed no shame in their costume choices and (at the beginning) we were treated to some dreadful dancing! Snobbish Vera (Zena Broadbent) in her gleaming silver skin tight cat suit is a lasting vision from this play, as are her classmates horrified reactions! Their teacher Mavis (played by Louise Caine) patiently steers them through her class while soothing her grumpy old pianist Mrs Fraser (Pauline Peach) We learn a lot more about the relationship of these 2 characters as the play progresses with both of them portraying very believable characters especially in their moments of storming out, unable to continue with the class.
As the play advances, we watch the class's dancing improve, and by the climax, a grand charity show performance, they are triumphant tappers, it was a really great finale and left the audience uplifted and proud of the characters!
All the ensemble cast worked hard to create the jovial camaraderie the piece relies upon, there were many very well crafted comic moments and others that I felt were slightly left to chance but because of the confidence and unashamed zeal the cast were successful.
review by Birmingham & District Theatre Guild
'Dont Dress For Dinner' - 21st - 25th February 2012
The programme promised a production to "Laugh off the winter blues" and this production certainly did exactly that, it was absolutely hilarious from start to finish.For the audience the pace and timing was ultimately the key to this production, the actors bringing out every element of comedy.The complex farce kept everyone guessing what on earth would go wrong next, mistaken identities, unexpected revelations, large quantities of alcohol that didn't help the situation, the need for rapid improvisation, bribery, confusion and for Robert blind panic.
All concerned gave outstanding performances, with perfect characterisations throughout.
It was one of the best evening's entertainment for a long time, very, very well done, superb.
review by Joyce Eyre, NODA representative.
'Family Planning' - 23rd - 27th Nov 2010
'And A Nightingale Sang' - 24th - 28th Nov 2009
'Trivial Pursuits' (Last Production in Water Orton)