Picture of traditional dramatic masks. Wording: Disconnected, a trio of short plays.  From the physical ... to the philosophical ... to the ridiculous!

'Dis-Connected' - A trio of short plays

NODA (National Operatic and Dramatic Association)

Review by Hazel Hole

  1. How To Murder Your Mother, written by Rob Porter
  2. Serenity, written by Hollie Porter
  3. Lockdown In Little Grimley, written by David Tristram


  1. Rob Porter
  2. Richard Kemp-Luck
  3. Katherine Johnson

Performed at The Dovercourt Studio, Dovercourt on Thursday 7th April 2022

I was welcomed at Front of House by Linda Potter.

There was one basic set for the first play, How To Murder Your Mother, which was the sitting room of an elderly woman, Ethel, played by Jane Rayner. Her son, Malcolm, played by Greg Mc Dowell visited with his wife, Sandra, played by Sara Talbot-Ashby and hatched a plan to murder Ethel and claim the house. Sandra was a very bossy scheming wife leaving Malcolm to plan a way to execute the murder. Needless to say, Malcolm became desperate as none of his harebrained schemes worked and inevitably there was an unexpected twist at the end whereby Ethel poisoned Malcolm and Sandra. The twists and turns of the plot were hilarious. There was some great enthusiastic acting from these three characters and a good dose of comedy thanks to Malcolm's encounters with the coat stand and other furniture ! A good script to start the evening.

The second play, Serenity, took place on a bench at a bus stop, positioned at front of house, and involved an old man, Richard Kemp-Luck and a young man, Jordan Brown. And what an angry, impatient, hyperactive young man he was, at odds with just about everything happening in the world whilst the old man was calm, placid and resigned. The interplay between these two was perfect and both played their roles with great skill and emotion. Again there was a last minute twist as the old man's wife had died whilst he was waiting for the bus. This had the effect of calming the young man who re-evaluated his life in a reflective way.

The third play, Lockdown In Little Grimley saw the set transformed into the local village hall. Amateur dramatic stalwarts were trying to restart the local drama group to raise money for the NHS. Gordon, the Director, played by Rob Porter, was a determined type, very frustrated at the lack of interest and progress shown by his group and unsure whether or not they shared his passion. Margaret, played by Sara Talbot-Ashby, was a true diva, looking down at the others in a very patronising way. Joyce, played by Jane Rayner, seemed very vague, was dyslexic and rather scatterbrained. Bernard, played by Richard Kemp-Luck appeared to have joined the group solely to escape from his wife and was a real bumbling character. Richard made much of appropriating the stock of toilet rolls and ensuring social distancing by pacing out ,then measuring with a tape, the distance between seats. A hilarious finish to an excellent evening.

All the actors were talented and impressive in their various roles and the society made innovative use of a very small stage area. Margaret Coleman, as Stage Manager, ensured sets were changed with the minimum of delay. Lighting, sound and costumes were all very appropriate and enhanced the settings.

Congratulations to everyone involved in these challenging plays, especially the three Directors. I enjoyed the evening very much, as did the audience.

Hazel Hole MBE
Regional Representative
NODA East, District 11