Southport’s Too Friendly Theatre Company is currently in the last few weeks of rehearsals for their forthcoming production. Alan Ayckbourn’s Snake in the Grass tells the tale of two sisters, reunited after years apart. However, far from being the happy family reunion one might expect, things take a murkier twist as old resentments resurface and hidden secrets are revealed in the darkness.
Annabel Chester returns to the family home following the death of her father. Once there, she is confronted by the sister she has not seen in years, who is not as she was. Miriam has never left home and is now happy to have her big sister back. Or is she? The play is a thriller; it is humorous. It may also be a ghost story, though it would be wrong to give anything away.
Director Cliff Gillies says that, as one of the country’s best known playwrights, Ayckbourn is well known for writing character driven narratives and this play is no different. He said “it is the dynamic between the two sisters that really makes this play interesting. You believe, quite early on, that you’ve worked out who they are but, these are complex characters with dark histories that have shaped their personalities.”
Playing the part of Miriam, Helen Haygarth is quick to recommend that, despite being billed as a thriller, the play has a lot of humour. “It is something Ayckbourn does well” she explained, “finding the humour in everyday situations. You won’t want to laugh, but you may not be able to help yourself.”
The Too Friendly Theatre Company has been performing in the Sefton area for over ten years. During this time, they have built a reputation as a versatile, dynamic company, turning their hand to murder mysteries and one act plays, alongside full plays. In fact, in January they won the NODA Award for Best Ensemble Cast following their last production at The Little Theatre, Peter Gordon’s The Reunion. In fact, this is an award they have won for the last two years as they were also successful with their hilarious take on Amanda Whittington’s Ladies’ Day, the sequel to which, Ladies Down Under, they performed in Ormskirk in October.
One thing is certain, if you’re looking for an evening of entertainment, albeit of the thrilling kind, then get yourself down to The Little Theatre in Southport from March 5th-7th. Tickets are one sale from the Box Office or on 01704 808951 priced at just £8.
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