The Invisible Man

by Ken Hill (from the novel by HG Wells)

14th – 17th May 2014

Supposedly taking place at the Empire, Bromley, in 1904, the company dramatize the ‘idious ‘appenings that shook the bucolic village of Iping three years earlier. The sinister Griffin arrives in the village with his face swathed in bandages and a manner that is distinctly unsociable. The village wonder: was it really an accident that destroyed his face , as he claims, or is he a criminal on the run? There is only one way to find out, and they get what they asked for. The Invisible Man takes off not only his gloves to reveal no hands, but his bandages to reveal no head! Then the pranks – comic and malevolent – truly begin.

invisible

The Cast

Griffin: Pete Watt
Mrs Hall, Newsboy: Tracey Pearce
Millie, Newsboy: Naomi Read
Thomas Marvel: H Connolly
Wickstead, PC: Nick Roberts
The MC, Teddy Henfrey, Rev Bunting, PC, Newsboy: Ian Hickling
Dr Cuss, Hayseed, Fearnside, Wadgers, Colonel Adye: Eric Saxton
Miss Statchell: Ellie Selby
Squire Burdock: Mark Bailey
PC Jaffers, Dr Kemp, Newsboy: Charlie East
Nurse: Lauren Eeley

Directed by Phil Prior

Newbury Weekly News Review

Disappearing act

Based on the well-known novel by HG Wells, playwright Ken Hill’s play was written as part-drama, part-comedy and part-farce.

Compton Players relished all the aspects of the work with a lively and well-paced production that was full of well performed special effects. You don’t often go to a theatre and see a man take off his head bandages and gloves to reveal… absolutely nothing!

Compton Players managed it and also a sequence where one minute you saw him and the next he’d gone.

Then there was a scene where a naked, invisible man ran riot around a room, causing havoc. The actors had to wrestle themselves to the ground or appear to be punched, or groped by the invisible presence and it was all done convincingly.

The cast were all very good in a fine demonstration of ensemble acting. Eric Saxton actually played five parts but was most impressive as Colonel Adye. Tracey Pearce and Naomi Read did well as the Landlady and bar girl and Ellie Selby put in a strong performance as an early feminist. She also had to struggle with an unfamiliar Scottish accent but overall did very well.

Thomas Marvel was played for laughs by H Connolly and very well too. Ian Hickling made a good MC and there were good supporting performances by Charlie East, Nick Roberts and Pete Watt as Griffin, the Invisible man.

Special effects were very impressive, particularly the now you see him, now you don’t illusion.

Sound effects, music of the period and lighting were all on cue and all pulled together by director Phil Prior and I can just imagine the work involved pulling that little lot off effectively. Everybody did well, minimal but effective settings were impressive and the pacing was pretty good. All in all, a production for the players to be proud of.

DEREK ANSELL

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