Thurs 29th November - Sat 1st December & Tues 4th December - Sat 8th December 1984
Directed by Ingrid Corrigan
A comedy set in a cricket pavilion. Do Roger and Miriam really have the perfect marriage? Does Ginnie really have a cold? And will little Kev persuade big Maggie to leave the bricklaying and watch him play for once? Roger has troubles enough in assembling his team, but they pall before those amongst the wives and girlfriends.
Roger is having trouble getting a team together for the afternoon's fixture against the British Railways Maintenance Division Yeading East but this proves to be the least of anyone's worries. Bob is having marriage trouble as he is still doing odd jobs for his ex-wife behind his current wife Ginnie's back. Dennis is also having marital trouble as his wife seems intent on moving house despite the fact they only moved recently. When he finally puts his foot down she sets fire to his new car. Kevin is trying to fight off his over affectionate wife Maggie while at the same time nurse his injured spinning finger and Alex's new girlfriend ends up shutting herself in the toilets having hysterics. Even Roger's seemingly perfect marriage to Miriam hits the skids when she discovers he was playing away from home in more ways than one on a trip to Dorking last year. Just when it seems things can't get any worse for them, it starts to rain.
The play opened at the Hampstead Theatre in 1979. In 1982 it was adapted for a one-off television showing starring Paul Eddington as Roger, Prunella Scales as Miriam, Jonathan Lynn as Kevin and Maureen Lipman as Maggie. In the mid 1990s Harris adapted the play into a sitcom on ITV starring Robert Daws as Roger, Brenda Blethyn as Miriam, Timothy Spall as Kevin and Josie Lawrence as Maggie. In 1994 'Outside Edge' won Best Situation Comedy from the Writers' Guild of Great Britain.
This play was staged at Havant Arts Centre, East Street Havant - Bench Theatre's home since 1977. The play was promoted by the staging of a mock cricket match in the West Street precinct in Havant. The quote from the newspaper covering the event..."Shoppers in Havant Precinct were knocked for six this weekend by a mock cricket match staged by members and cast of Havant Bench Theatre. After a bowling a few overs, however, rain stopped play."
Late Night Theatre - After the performances of 'Outside Edge' on Thursday December 6th and Friday December 7th, there were Bench Fringe Theatre productions of 'Waiting Gain' by Jean Binnie; the winner of the Short Plays section of the 1984 Bench Playwriting competition. Jo German played the girl and the play was directed by David Brown.
|Stage Manager||Jo German|
|Assistant Stage Manager||David Brown|
|Lighting Designer||Ron Hone|
|Lighting Operator||Pete Codd|
|Set Designer||David Penrose|
|Set Construction||Chris Hall |
|Sound Operators||Ray Osborne |
|Poster Designer||Pete Woodward|
|House Managers||Janet Simpson |
Richard Harris's play is about obsession and how this obsession affects the lives of a small group of people. With a very keen eye and a sympathetic understanding, Mr Harris has created a comic play which also has the more rare ingredients of bite and pathos.
Watching an amusing script grow into a funny performance is one of the perks of being a director. At first the jokes on the page are enough to keep us giggling, but as each actor brings the part he or she is playing to life, so the humour grows. The characters themselves become real people with reassuringly recognisable weaknesses.
The cast and crew have enjoyed working on the production but until tonight there has been one important element missing - you, the audience. We hope you enjoy it as much as we have.
HOWZAT? A few chaps in the cricket team are caught out in more ways than the sporting one in Richard Harris's hilarious comedy 'Outside Edge'. When the wives and girlfriends get together in the pavilion on fine summer's day, we soon discover that most of the blokes have dropped a googly of some sort in their relationships off the pitch.
The Bench Theatre are staging a very lively production at Havant Arts Centre of this acclaimed made-for-TV play, and director Ingrid Corrigan has it cast like a dream. Squaring up to the weighty responsibilities of captainship is Terry Cattermole and Miriam, his right-hand-man on stage is his own wife, Robbie. "Supers" and "Love-yous" abound as these twin pillars of the team rush around doing things together - she with total competence, he fairly ineffectual. But even Miriam loses her bustle when she tries to find out the depths Roger sank to in Dorking.
The other couples are just as funny. John Valentine is Bob of the second time marriage, whose counterpart, Virginia, is played with ice-cool cattiness by Jude Salmon. Peter Woodward has a good nudge-nudge, confidential line as Dennis, the bloke who can get a discount on anything and who also sells short his unseen wife Shirley. The oddest couple are big brick-laying Maggie, and her little Kev. Gina Cameron is a scream in the fur coat and tasteful turquoise tights, and Tony Kellaway makes his first stage appearance as cuddly Kevin. Finally, Peter Holding is the snotty solicitor Alex - there must be one such smart-Alex in every team - and Debbie Valentine plays his poor little girlfriend, Sharon, totally out of place in her 500 yards of muslin. 'Outside Edge runs until December 8, with no performances on Sunday or Monday.
The News, 30th November 1984