Nine characters in various poses, each sitting inside an open fronted box
Boxed In

Boxed In - Review

NODA (National Operatic and Dramatic Association)

Review by Hazel Hole

Boxed In, written by Rob Porter
Director Maree Noons
Performed at The Dovercourt Studio on Friday 29th October 2021.

I was warmly welcomed on arrival by Linda Potter, Front of House Manager
This farce was written by group member, Rob Porter and tells the story of a packaging company (Boxperts) working against the clock to produce a strategy to a very tight deadline.

Skilfully directed by Maree Noons, the small marketing team worked hard to create chaos ! Led by Laura, played very convincingly by Sara Talbot-Ashby ,the other team members consisted of Steve, played by Jordan Brown and Dave, played by Greg McDowell. Steve was lazy and bored and Jordan kept the accent and nonchalant manner going well. Dave was busy and energetic but rather dense and Greg managed to create an air of being busy whilst not really achieving much at all !

Mr Featherstone, CEO was played impeccably and with gravitas by Richard Kemp-Luck another lazy character who was hiding a great secret, revealed eventually. His Secretary Felicity, played brilliantly by Katherine Johnson, was devious and obnoxious and harboured a secret ambition. The same secret ambition was also harboured by Joy, the office junior and Deonne Newson created a really sweet role here.

Margaret Coleman played a very determined Spanish cleaner who did not speak English and this produced a number of comical situations. Margaret was excellent in this part and I was impressed to learn that she was actually speaking in Spanish having had help with pronunciation from a local contact.

A self-help guru, Zeke, had been called in to the company to help with motivation and this role was taken by the author, Rob Porter. Rob played this role in a cunning and manipulative way leaving the audience wondering about the credentials of the guru.

The final character was Margery, Dave's wife, very ably played by Jane Rayner, who brought great comedy to the role, surprisingly becoming the cleaner at one point.

Steve Fisher was the narrator throughout to guide the audience through the plot.

The set was simple (in the style of boxes of course !) with entrances and exits cunningly placed to the rear of the tiny stage area. Designed and built by Rob Porter, Simon Reader and company members it was most effective with the minimum of props used to mark different scenes. Stage Managers Megan Day and Maree Noons ensured smooth running of any changes. Costumes, hair and makeup were all very appropriate and clever use of lighting ( Andrew Dace) and sound ( Steve Fisher) enhanced the effects.

Congratulations to Rob Porter for having the courage to write the script for the society with a unique plot for a farce. Congratulations to Maree Noons for her interpretation and direction and to all the cast and production team for turning Rob's script into a fun evening, much appreciated by the audience. It would have been good to see a full house but obviously some people are still wary of a theatre type environment.

Hazel Hole MBE
Regional Representative
NODA East
District 11