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Review: Alphabetical Order

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Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking GlassLeicester Drama Society Youth Theatre
Grease: The MusicalWAOS
Ceri Dupree: Immaculate Deception
The Counterfeit Seventies
Table MannersLeicester Drama Society
The Darling Buds of MayLeicester Drama Society
Dracula: A Comedy of TerrorsLeicester Drama Society
Frank Sinatra: The Movie Years
Shadowing Hank
Seriously Collins – A Tribute to Phil Collins and Genesis
Word Up 80s
Cilla and the Swinging Sixties
Past Tents
Play in a Week Summer SchoolLDS
Disney’s Beauty and the BeastKW Productions
The Wizard of OzIDOLS
Down for the Count: A Century of Swing
The Carpenters Experience
Celine
The Queen Story
Beautiful: The Carole King MusicalKPAOS
Sleeping BeautyLeicester Drama Society
The Same Faces: Improvised Comedy
Jersey Beats – Oh What A Nite!
The Fleetwood Mac Songbook
The Dazzling Diamonds
The George Harrison Project
Ultimate Classic Rock Show
Supersonic Queen
The Upbeat Beatles


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Posted on: 28 October 2022

The Little Theatre, Dover Street

Review by Lynette Watson

Alphabetical Order is set in a 1970’s library office of a provincial newspaper – a scene of permanent and utter chaos – that issues constant moral support for needy journalists, run by head librarian Lucy (Emma Bamford), a disorganised earth mother in total disarray, she attempts to bring some semblance of order by recruiting Lesley (Rachael Humphrey), a young assistant with a passion for organisation to do just that.

Writer Michael Frayn divides his play into two distinct halves, as Act One – with its obvious camaraderie between all the quirky characters – is transformed by Act Two into a library that is exemplary in tidiness, but completely lacking in soul.

Bamford and Humphrey equally matched each other in strength, as they crossed swords to achieve office supremacy, although both lost some audibility at times, especially at the conclusion of Act One.

While the conflict of the two librarians is the centrepiece, the rest of the cast in Lucy’s den are well suited to their characters. Notably, John Moulding as the indecisive taciturn John, who gave a believable, understated performance, and Ali Levy as the dithery and motherly feature writer, Nora. Charles Moss was a breath of fresh air as Geoffrey, the jovial ageing newspaper ‘boy’ who delivered some much-needed comedic moments!

Credit to Gem Greaves, whose set authentically echoed the 1970s, and hats off to costume designer John Bale – who can forget those Fair Isle tank tops, flowered midi skirts and flared trousers… hilarious!

Frayn himself says the play is really about ‘the interdependence of order and disorder’ with too much of one making you long for the other’ – food for thought. The production succeeds in offering a fitting tribute to a play that is very much of its time in the non-digital age.

 

Photo by Mary Jayne Harding Scott.

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