The pleasant drawing room set for the Crighton Players’ current production of Tim Kelly’s play, The Uninvited, nicely depicts “…the sitting room of Cliff End, an isolated house overlooking the Bristol Channel in the west of England.” The title, of course, hints at the spooky events that follow. The house has been closed up for many years, and rumor has it there have been some “disturbances” there for those who dared to enter. Thanks to Crighton’s top-notch staff of set/lighting/special effects designers, those disturbances are very well translated to the stage. But don’t be too scared to attend. It’s really a night of fun!
Directed with a spirit (pun intended) of ghostly fun by Grace Thompson, the mystery is a pleasant summer diversion. Stella Meredith (Dalin Woolery) eerily portrays the daughter of the late Mary Meredith, who apparently died under suspicious circumstances in a fall from the cliffs on the property. Mary’s portrait, above the fireplace, may not be her only presence in the house. Enter Pam Fitzgerald (Linda Cary) and her brother Roddy Fitzgerald (Dale Trimble) as potential buyers of the house. Roddy, an author, just needs a quiet place to work. Good luck to him at Cliff’s End! Meanwhile, presiding over the sale of the house is Stella’s grandfather, Commander Brooke (Tom Lockhart). Lockhart does well giving us a gruff, crusty, and blustering Commander, but some of his dialogue became inaudible amid the bluster.
Marcia Feldt Bates adds to the fun as the outspoken housekeeper, Lizzie. She is well-paired with the next door neighbor, Mrs. Jessop (Carol Halley), and together, the two could win a busybodies contest, although Mrs. Jessop proudly declares, “I don’t like to tell tales!” Mark my words, you don’t want to entrust any of your important secrets to these two!
Cindy Siple gives an amusing performance as Wendy Carey, and she keeps things spooky with her Tarot card readings. Don’t miss her freak-out when she looks in the mirror. Of course, as in any good British mystery, an assortment of other characters end up in the drawing room. W. Ryan Willingham confidently gives us a robust and compelling Dr. Scott. Wes Bush brings cool sophistication to the role of Max Hillard, and Melissa Singleton gives us a severe and mysterious Miss Holloway, who might be the one who “did it.” But I‘m not telling. Head over to the Crighton Theatre and find out for yourself.
“The Uninvited” continues at the Crighton Theatre through July 26th with Friday and Saturday performances at 8 p.m., and one Sunday matinee, July 20th at 2p.m. For tickets and information call 936-441-7469.