This was a first class production with a wonderful set - designed by Steve Ashcroft - which was completely in keeping with the period and setting of the play. .. Felicity, Countess of Marshwood...wonderfully characterised by Deborah Lisburne Diacon. This was a very demanding and wordy role and Deborah’s diction and projection were very good...Mrs. Dora Moxton (Moxie) the Countess’s personal maid and confidante was played very convincingly by Mary Brennan ... wonderful comic timing and facial expressions made this a standout performance...Felicity’s friends and neighbours Lady Cynthia and Admiral Sir John Hayling were played deliciously by Lesley Robinson...and the ever dependable and talented Gareth Hammond... Steve Ashcroft was perfectly cast as the all-seeing and dependable butler Crestwell... The housemaid, Alice, was played beautifully by new-comer to the group Eloise Sheffield... The Earl of Marshwood - Nigel - Felicity’s son was played very well by the ever dependable Joe O’Connor...Laurence Tuck gave a good performance as The Honourable Peter Ingleton - Felicity’s nephew...Claire Johnson was a joy to watch as the over-the-top and flamboyant Hollywood actress, Miranda Frayle... Don Lucas, Hollywood movie star and long standing love interest of Miranda, was played by Ed Miller who gave us a convincing portrayal of this laid-back and self-assured character... The production was well staged and .. very polished...
Rob Bertwistle, National Operatic & Dramatic Association
Deborah Lisburne Diacon gets to dispense some choice lines...and dominates several scenes...Laurence Tuck... is composed and debonair as Felicity’s nephew Peter, while Ed Miller makes an impressive debut as the boozy movie idol Don Lucas - his sparky scenes with flamboyant actress Miranda (Claire Johnson) are arguably the highlight of this comedy... Eloise Sheffield as maidservant Alice has an all-too-brief chance to flirt breathlessly with the rangy Hollywood star... if one face stands out, it is perhaps that of Felicity’s put-upon maid Moxie (Mary Brennan)...Her scenes with sardonic butler Crestwell (Steve Ashcroft) are a treat... Joe O’Connor keeps a stiff upper lip as the countess’ decent, if slightly dim, son Nigel; Gareth Hammond is gruff as an admiral... Lesley Robinson is amusing as snobbish Lady Cynthia...Co-directors Laurence Goodwin and Denise Santilli have assembled a cast with energy and strong comic timing.
Paul Stammers, Eynsham Online
What a set! The curtains opened to reveal the Library of a country house, with everything in keeping with the style and period.
The Butler, Crestwell, (Steve Ashcroft) was delightfully crusty and formal, which was maintained throughout. He was particularly officious to the long-suffering Parlour-maid Alice (Eloise Sheffield), who gave a steady performance....Moxie (Mary Drennan) the Lady’s-maid was delightfully, simply played and a good foil to Crestwell... Felicity, Countess of Marshwood (Deborah Lisburn Diacon) was a tour-de-force, having the lion’s share of the dialogue and on stage for what seemed 90% of the time...She had good comedy timing and looked right for the part...Sir John and Lady Hayling (Gareth Hammond and Lesley Robinson) were both stately in their support roles of neighbouring aristocracy. Peter Ingleton, Felicity’s nephew (Laurence Tuck) was solid and dependable in his role of peace-keeper in the madness of the household. Nigel Marshwood (Joe O’Connor) was the testy one, being very defensive of his new American, film star fiancée, Miranda, in the face of opposition from his mother... Miranda (Claire Johnson) maintained her American accent well and gave a very believable performance, looking stunning in her costumes. ... Don Lucas (Ed Miller)...played Miranda’s happy-go-lucky, lovelorn, ex-boyfriend with gentle charm and maintained his character well.
Nigel James, Oxfordshire Drama Network