Noel Coward’s Waiting In The Wings was rapturously received by the Churt Amateur Dramatic Society audience.

This play produces some splendid roles for older actresses. Set in a retirement home for actresses, the story reflects on their past and present lives with a mixture of humour and poignancy.

The sparring between Lotta Bainbridge (Sara Wilson-Soppitt) and May Davenport (Viv Raeside) was a delight to watch. The rift in their relationship was caused by a man and the way in which they come to terms with each other, and eventually become friends, unfolds during the course of the play.

Jane Quicke was impressive as Deirdre O’Malley, with an accent which never faltered. She confidently predicted doom at every turn, which lent humour to the play – as did Kathy Le Fanu’s delightful performance as Sarita Myrtle, who thought she was still on stage and the other people in the home were members of the cast. Susie Gow played Maudie Melrose in a cheerful and gently touching manner, always eager to play the piano whenever required. A good character interpretation.

Another notable role came from Cerys Traynor as Zelda Fenwick. She turned out to be not at all the negative influence the ladies expected, becoming something of a fairy godmother by donating a crate of Champagne and a cheque for the building of a longed-for solarium.

Nigel Dams portrayed the part of Perry Lascoe, the only male part in the play fully developed; something of a favourite with the ladies in the home, he played the part with sensitivity and it was evident that he sincerely held the interests of the ladies uppermost. Sarah Burch was Sylvia Archibald – an ex-ENSA colonel who came over as a battleaxe with a heart of gold. A very convincing performance. Together she and Perry ran the retirement home.

I loved the impromptu concert at the end of the play and I think the directors, David Irwin and Anneliese Wadham, should be congratulated. In all this made for a delightful evening. Well done to all involved.

Hilary Lee-Corbin