Charles Webb's Novel adapted by Terry Johnson
22/01/09 - 31/01/09
Venue: The Forum Studio Theatre
A hit in the West End and a popular show on Broadway starring Kathleen Turner, The Graduate brings the quintessential movie hit of the sixties, one of the most popular films of all time, vividly to life on stage. A college student spends his first summer out of school in the arms of his father's best friend's wife. Meanwhile, he is falling in love with the man's daughter.
"Here's to you, Mrs. Robinson!"
Benjamin Braddock Richard Nolan
Mr Braddock Neil Underwood
Mrs Braddock Noella Grace
Mrs Robinson Cheryl Willday
Elaine Robinson Nicole Tallant
Mr Robinson Terry Marland
Desk Clerk etc Martin Fraser
Chester Standard 26.01.09
A THEATRICAL performance in Chester had to be halted mid-way after a fire broke out nearby.
Audiences had been enjoying the first act of the 1960s classic The Graduate at the Forum Studio Theatre, formerly The Chester Gateway
Security officers at a nearby car park went to investigate smoke on Friday evening. There was a fire located in the
underground car park on the ground floor. Car park sprinklers were activated and fire crews arrived and the fire was put out.
A Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said fire-fighters ventilated the car park area for some time and commended that people around the car park evactuate the area including the Forum Theatre audience of the Tip Top Productions performance.
Leader theatre critic Les Chamberlain, who was at the performance, said: "In more than 40 years as a theatre critic, not once have been at a play that had to abandoned during a performance.
"A fire had broken out in a nearby building and the street were cordoned off and fire officers advised company officials not to carry on because of the dense smoke that was coming from nearby.
"Fortunately the decision not to perform the second act was made during the interval, so at least I was able to comment on the first act.
"Not having seen the film, the annoying thing is that I don't know how the play ended."
Les added: "Credit to the whole cast for keeping up good American accents throughout to make it all very plausible. The acting throughout was top drawer and a great credit to director David Underwood who made sure the action never flagged.
Richie Nolan, in the title role, is to be congratulated on a excellent performance in his first lead role in a non-musical. Extremely convincing.
As to be expected from such a fine actress, Cheryl Willday gave a faultless performance as the alcoholic adultress. The seduction scenes between the two of them were outstanding.
Neil Underwood was excellent as the graduate's father, at times bombastic and at others baffled at some of his son's actions. Noella Grace was splendid support as his wife.
Congratulations also to Nicole Tallant as the alcoholic's daughter.
This was her debut with the company having recently finished her A levels, and they have certainly found a promising actress. The scene when she and her mother sit on the floor having a drunken conversation was a gem.
Terry Marland was convincing as the alcoholic’s brash, loud-mouthed husband and there is fine support from Martin Fraser and Jennie Freedland in the smaller parts.
John McGinn has designed a splendid set for the small stage.