Grantham Dramatic Society is first past the post with 'Ladies' Day'
Anyone who failed to catch Grantham Dramatic Society’s latest production, ‘Ladies’ Day’, missed an absolute comedy treat last week.
The plot centred around four Hull fish factory filleters who decide to go on a day trip to Ladies’ Day, in the year that Royal Ascot temporarily moved to York Racecourse, as a send-off for worker Pearl who is leaving the company.
Played by Allison Allen, Pearl and workmates Linda (Amanda Taylor), Jan (Tami Brown) and Shelley (Evie Brown) get dolled up and arrive at York ticketless; but then their first piece of good fortune sees them acquire some tickets non gratis.
Copious amounts of champagne are consumed and a six-horse bet on the Tote is made by the ladies.
Star struck Shelley passes herself off as ‘Sahara’ to lecherous racing commentator Jim (Tony Hine), with both Evie and Tony playing their roles to a T throughout.
Tami’s character Jan became splendidly more drunk as proceedings went on, whilst Tony Christie-obsessed Linda stumbled across disillusioned jockey Patrick (Nick Croft) – looking quite a spitting image of Lester Piggott – with the pair of loners immediately hitting it off.
Mention must be made of Nick’s cameo piece in which he regaled the audience with the trials and tribulations of making his racing weight – laxatives included.
The four girls are more than elated when five of their six horses finish first, but the day ends in disappointment when their final selection, ridden by Patrick, is beaten to the post.
However, on returning to work the next day, factory foreman Joe (Stephen Marsland) informs them that the race six winner had been disqualified.
Unfortunately, the girls had thrown their betting slip away but luckily Pearl had been given it back by her lover Barry (Hugh Butterworth) as a keepsake – and celebrations ensued!
Hugh Butterworth doubled up as dodgy ticket tout Fred earlier on, whilst Nick Croft also shone as drunken Scottish gambler Kevin.
Stephen Marsland also played a race-goer bit part, along with Vicky Aves, Daniele Petruzzo and Rosemary Gibson.
A couple of scene changes were carried out during delightful musical interludes, with John Sheppard working the audience into a frenzy with his rendition of Tony Christie’s Amarillo in one, whilst the other saw Pearl and Barry dancing the night away to the classic soul song Misty Blue.
To this reviewer, at least, both musical interludes came across as slightly surreal, almost David Lynch-like with their glitter and glitz, but that only added to the enjoyment of the overall performance.
. . . perhaps GDS should consider having a stab at something like a comedic version of Lynch’s 'Blue Velvet' as their next production!
More by this authorJohn Burgess