Amateur dramatic society present 'tried and tested' comedy

Sidmouth Amateur Dramatic Society's production of Last Tango in Whitby

Sidmouth Amateur Dramatic Society's production of Last Tango in Whitby - Credit: Brian Rees

For their first production of 2022, their Centenary year, Sidmouth Amateur Dramatic Society presented the tried and tested comedy by Mike Harding, Last Tango in Whitby, at the Manor Pavilion Theatre, directed by Liz Hammond.

The action follows a group of pensioner friends as they take their annual charabanc holiday to their usual hotel in Whitby for a week of fun and frolics.

For Pat, recently widowed, this year’s trip is tinged with sadness, but she is determined to put on a brave face and enjoy herself. Phil and Edna, the resident hosts organise the entertainment and the old-time dancing which is the mainstay of the week.

Sidmouth Amateur Dramatic Society present Last Tango in Whitby

Sidmouth Amateur Dramatic Society present Last Tango in Whitby - Credit: Brian Rees

Phil trapped in an unhappy marriage is trying to make the best of things, but after their first dance together he and Pat feel the spark of mutual attraction, which neither in the end can resist.

Despite the disapproval of nearly everyone they decide to seize the day and start a new life together.

The different personalities were established from the moment that they boarded the “bus”, with the earthy humour and banter as they journeyed to Whitby drawing the audience in.

Julie Salmon as Pat initially displayed a convincing sense of loss but then a determination that “her Arthur” would have said to get on with life and not mope. Ian Harbour was kind and caring as Phil, while Tracey Stone certainly showed her feelings as Edna with a multitude of disapproving expressions.

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Gillian Coley was perfect as spinster Jessie, her song solo was delightful, and Cathie Rigby and Andy Podmore made a believable husband and wife! Bob Sturtivant very nearly stole the show as Henry, with his jokes, war reminiscences, and his Scottish dance rendition of “Donald, Where’s your Troosers?”

Sidmouth Amateur Dramatic Society's performance of Last Tango in Whitby

Sidmouth Amateur Dramatic Society's performance of Last Tango in Whitby - Credit: Brian Rees

You could feel the blushes of the acerbic Maureen and Kathleen, well portrayed by Pam Ward and Chris Shepherd, every time he raised his kilt! The main characters were well supported by the rest of the cast in a variety of roles, there were some wonderful lines, plenty of dancing, and all did make for an evening of frolic and fun!