Review: Beyond a Joke

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SAUGHTONHALL Drama Group is an oasis of everything that marks out amateur theatre as being a vital part of the lifeblood of a community.

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From the warm welcome at the door by a team of dedicated volunteers to the cup of tea and raffle during the interval, you’re reminded that the values that inspired the first Edinburgh Fringe Festival, of community engagement, local involvement and a spirit of sharing creativity for it’s own sake, are still to be found, even if they are a few miles down the road from big name comedians, in big venues here to make big money.

To stage the show, even the church’s congregation have had to make accommodations, the usual Sunday service has changed orientation to make room for the set.

Beyond A Joke is a mischievous, undemanding comedy with enough twists to keep the audience amused and a suspenseful surprise at the end of the first act. The play’s roles are well cast and director Morag Simpson elicits good work from them. There are timing issues and the odd script prompt but leads Chris Mitchell as Jane and Gavin Watson as Andrew keep the drama’s momentum flowing comfortably.

Until tomorrow