We attended the first night of ‘Bunkered’ by Lynn Brittney, as this is the first true play the group has performed since they developed from the Good Companions of Bunbury. The group is based at Church Minshull Village Hall, which, having no permanent stage, meant the building of a small set on a temporary platform. This was done well and was suitably lit, with good sound effects, delivering all the essential pieces in place.
We should start by saying we are not fans of the play and even took books in case boredom set in. We previously found the script very limited and large amounts of dialogue somewhat stinted.
This performance was different. Right from the start unscripted ‘business’ had been added that caught the audience’s attention and this rolled on from random tool pilfering, through electrocution and ‘under wedding dress’ action, to a headlock that persuaded one member of the cast to sign the Official Secrets Act. Intrigued? You should be, for this was not the usual production. The laughter grew as the four main characters, (David Barrett as Harry, Chris Fisher as Peter, Mairi Harris as Joan and Kerry Bannon as Mags) responded to each others performances and took control of their roles, masterfully. They were ably assisted by Kevin Penny as an imposing Marine Sargent Connor and Faye Hough as the enigmatic Midshipman Taylor. Later still, director John Headon was added to the mix as a perplexed Bill and Sharon Corke played a smart and ‘ritzy’ commander.
Overall, a very enjoyable play and congratulations should be given to the producer who made a mundane script into a very watchable performance. A measure of it’s success? We never once touched our books and never once stopped laughing.
Claire & Michael Gorse