The Coarse Acting Show

by Michael Green

13th-15th July 2006
Broadbent Theatre, Wickenby

People have told us that our plays tend towards the tragic, the serious and the suicidal. With this in mind Jez Ashberry chose four short plays in the ‘Coarse Acting’ series by Michael Green for our summer 2006 production.

The essence of Coarse Acting is theatre done badly for a variety of reasons: it could be bad actors, forgotten lines, unreliable props, dodgy sets, ill-judged costumes or a combination of all the above.

Our selection was ‘Streuth!’ (a country house murder mystery), ‘The Cherry Sisters’ (a tragedy indebted to Chekhov), ‘Stalag 69’ (a wartime POW drama) and ‘Il Fornicazione’ (an opera).

It goes without saying that it looks easy to do theatre badly, but it is in fact terribly difficult. I hope we carried it off successfully. We staged the entire evening as a fictitious theatre group, the hapless Chapel Hill Amateur Playgoers Society, and tried to be true to the conceit throughout, from the chaotic efforts on stage to the hopeless interval pianist and the disastrous attempt at bingo at half time.

We also found building and striking four different sets on a small, dark stage quite challenging – not least because the set for Stalag 69 had to be built upside down to begin with and then turned through 180 degrees, only to collapse entirely during the course of the play.

The Lincolnshire Echo’s critic enjoyed ‘some great Acorn Antique-esque moments’ and particularly praised the ‘very funny’ Stalag 69, while the Market Rasen Mail enjoyed ‘the hilarious piano interval music’ and lamented ‘this play deserved a bigger audience’!


Inspector Lindsey Slapp
Mr D’Arcy Keith Archer
Mrs D’Arcy Ann Jackson
Hubert Martin Noble
Cook Chrissie Hughes
Major Jez Ashberry
James Philip Little
Vicar Jason Hippisley
Prompt Julie Cartwright

The Cherry Sisters

Veruka Teana Hutchinson
Basha Chrissie Hughes
Gnasha Sheryl Tribe
Babushka Ann Jackson
Footrotski Jason Hippisley
Piles Lindsey Slapp
Captain Sodov Martin Noble
Schoolmaster Feverovitch Andy Kellett
Stationmaster Porkin Philip Little
Prompt Julie Cartwright

Stalag 69

Squadron Leader Crawford Philip Little
Interrogator Lindsey Slapp
Heinrich Jason Hippisley
Director Jez Ashberry
Stage Manager Julie Cartwright
ASMs Martin Noble & Andy Kellett

Il Fornicazione

Conductor Lindsey Slapp
Triangle Julie Cartwright
Countess di Formaggio Teana Hutchinson
Maid Rebecca Coulton
Alfonso Jason Hippisley
Count di Formaggio Andy Kellett
Huntsmen Martin Noble, Philip Little, Chrissie Hughes & Ann Jackson


Director Jez Ashberry
Stage Manager Graham Botterill
Sound Hannah Laws
Lighting Damian Hutchinson
Costumes Vicky Ashberry
Props Jez Ashberry, Rebekah Whitney
Set construction Jez Ashberry, Martin Noble, Keith Archer, Ian Smith, Jeff Ashberry & John Davey
Count Formaggio’s salon Roy Simpson & Ann Jackson
Front of house Vicky Ashberry
Publicity Jez Ashberry
Programme Vicky Ashberry
Poster design Vicky Ashberry