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Review: The Matchmaker

With four big location changes, a cast of 16 and a plot full of physical humour and fast paced dialogue, The Matchmaker by Thornton Wilder was a real challenge for producer Liz Williams, but meet the challenge she did!

Being the first night, I could almost feel the nerves bouncing around the auditorium in those first few scenes, and it took a few pages of the script for both the actors and the audience to relax. Once they got into the flow, it was great fun to watch and the witty, clever script was allowed to flourish.

The plot followed a wealthy merchant of 'Yonkers' in New York in 1800 who decided to employ a matchmaker to find him a wife. The matchmaker finds herself involved with his two clerks, a couple of young ladies, a head waiter, a cab driver… to name but a few. In the end, after many farcical goings on, Vandergelder the merchant (played charismatically and humorously by Dave Cavell), falls for the Matchmaker herself.

Two new faces on the RLT stage were James Mackinder playing Barnaby and Anna Phillipson playing Minnie, both of whom brought energy and charisma to the piece. They really engaged with the audience, were confident and threw everything into their characters.

Ermengarde was played well by Keri Duffy and her mannerisms and voice really captured the girl’s naivety. Sarah Woodwards is always a strong performer and she didn’t let us down with her portrayal of Mrs Levi.

Some of my favourite moments were during the 'double act' scenes between Barnaby (James Mackinder) and Cornelius (Mike Pinkerton), I thought these two performers sparked off each other, and I am sure as the run continues, this will grow even more.

A special mention to Hayley Brook who played Miss Van Huysen and Phil Underwood who played Malachi, both of whom gave very convincing performances. Derek Green and Tracey Stafford also gave strong performances and with some hilarious cameos played by Mal Pike, Mark Thornton, Peter Lindley, Angel King (who played the violin expertly), Betty Teanby and Sarah Carter-Bowden, this was a cast to be reckoned with.

Bravo to all the technical and construction team as they too had a huge challenge in making the piece work smoothly. It was impressive to see how the set was re-vamped for each change of location. Personally speaking, I am not a fan of long waits while set changes occur, but with the use of music and the curtain, they worked well.

A good farce, well performed. Well done to all involved


Reviewed by Victoria Evans


The Perfect Murder
by Shaun McKenna (from the book by Peter James)

Friday 26th January to Friday 2nd February 2018, 7:30pm

Victor Smiley and his wife Joan have been married for nearly two decades, but each barely recognises the person they wake up next to every morning. Victor is so fed up with his job at the local factory – as well as distracted by his visits to his favourite prostitute, Kamila – that he hardly notices his wife’s constant ridicule. Joan has resigned herself to the fact that Victor will never see beyond her double-chin to a new hair cut or outfit. She even puts up with his constant snoring which keeps her up night after night, but only just. For unbeknownst to Victor, Joan is taking her sweet revenge: spending large amounts of money on his credit card, kitting herself out in a sexy new wardrobe to impress her secret lover, Don. But then, as the bills mount, Victor loses his job. Soon he realises that the only way he can achieve his dream of setting up home with Kamila is to get Joan out of the picture, once and for all. But Victor is about to get a nasty surprise, for he’s not the only one with murder on his mind...

Click here for booking information.




Play readings to cast the fourth play of the season,
Waylaid by David J Harrison, will take place in the theatre lounge on Tuesday 12th and Thursday 14th December 2017 at 7:30pm.

Please contact Frank Stamp on 07771 554251 for further details or a copy of the script.

The Rise and Fall of Little Voice
Auditions for the role of Little Voice will take place during the first two weeks of January 2018.

Due to the need for LV to sing and mimic some of the great female divas, the auditions will focus on both singing and acting. Individual auditions will be arranged with the producer Donnamarie Stamp. If you are interested, please contact Donnamarie on 07825 249644.

The readings for the other roles will be announced at a later date.


2017-2018 Season

Retford Little Theatre is pleased to annouce our 77th
Season of plays will open with the farce The Decorator
by Donald Churchill, and will conclude with the acclaimed
play The Rise and Fall of Little Voice by Jim Cartwright.

The Matchmaker (Thornton Wilder), The Perfect Murder (Shaun McKenna) and Waylaid (David J Harrison) complete the season's line up.

Further details of all the plays in the 2017-18 season, including ticket information, can be found here.