Pensioner pathos and comedy at Carmyllie Hall

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CARMYLLIE Amateur Dramatics did it again, with a performance at the weekend in Carmyllie Hall full of comedy and pathos. The play ‘The Cemetery Club’ written by Ivan Menchell is set in the Jewish community of New York.

There comes a point when there is more of life behind us than before us. The people we pledged our life and love to have had their time on this earth and we are left behind to continue living. Such is the fate of Ida, Lucille, Doris and Sam.

The three women deal with their loss in different ways. Lucille (Alison McDonald) has a gleam in her eyes and brass in her smile. She is out to grab life with both hands. Alison revelled in her role and was fantastic as the man hungry Jewish widow.

Sweet homely Ida (Vikki Robb), has raised her children and buried her man and is ready to move on from her monthly vigil at the cemetery. She wants to find love again and has caught the eye of Sam a widower who visits his dead wife’s grave. Vikki’s finely judged, understated performance brought emotion and warmth and a feeling of home.

Sam (Finlay McDonald), was a little bewildered by his new role, one minute the aging lothario jolted out of his complacency, feeling like he ought to be living life to the full, the next, a man seeking the stability and comfort of home that he has lost. Finlay, despite his relative youth, managed to convince us that he was Sam. A man who had lived the good and worst times of life and who perhaps had a little left to find happiness and purpose again.

Christine Smith played Doris, still devoted to her dead husband, determined to keep Ida and Lucille firmly in the past. She didn’t want life to change and was fearful of Sam’s effect on Ida and Lucille’s determination to look to the future. Doris was the glue that kept the three women together and Christine’s sensitive performance reminded us all of how much we cling to the familiar and how much courage it takes to go on when all that is left is the memory of love.

Tricia Rorie played a small role as Mildred, Ida’s rival for Sam’s affections. It is hoped that we will see more of her in the future.

As usual the stage design by Wendy Strachan, and Tricia Rorie was excellent. The use of lighting was particularly effective. The play was directed by Helen Leslie. As a first adult production by Helen it was very effective.

Events such as this bring a community together. As a night out I couldn’t ask for more - good entertainment, a little wine and the opportunity to meet up with old friends.

Sarah-Ann Gibson