Double Bill Review

The Browning Version and Dirty Business received high praise from many who came to see it in February including NODA reviewer Dee Sharpe.

The intense emotions of Rattigan’s tale of social mores and a faled marriage were perfectly counterpointed by the rather lighter tale of council cuts and a couple of cleaners, Whichever you enjoyed most we hope you felt the show was worth waiting form after the cancellation of the original dates in October 2018

The NODA review pointed out the sensitivity and skill of Emma Gosling’s direction of the poignant story of The Browning Verision, as well as Philip Robinson’s effortless genius and Hazelle Woodhurst’s sneeringly cruel but desperate portrayal of his unfulfilled snobbish wife. Top credit as well to Simon Perkins as the lover who finds his disgust at himself is eclipsed by what he finds he really thinks of his co-adulterer. All the supporting cast including CDS newcomers Logan Brewer, Josh Hands and Heather Gosling along side old-hand Laurence Leng.

Following such a famous play and such intense passions was always a hard task. (Rattigan’s original companion piece Harlequinade is far rarely performed than The Browning Version.)

Dirty Business then was set out as a total contrast, author Derek Webb. has a good number of plays to his name, but would probably not expect to be linked with Rattigan. Dirty Business was then cheekily cheery contrast standing on its own terms.

Primarily a double act with little time off stage its protagonist cleaners played by Caroline Morley and Lorraine Jordan are determined to protect their interests (specifically their jobs). Unlike the Browning Version they are willing to consider exposing Paul Ruse’s council manager’s dirty laundry as part of taking a stand against the cuts.

Lesley Jenks’s direction brought a sense of modern realism in a relaxed working environment after the stuffy suits of the 1950s, with the set transformed into an office with three very accomplished performances. The surprise twist at the end concluded what Dee called a hugely enjoyable evening.