Full Circle

‘Full Circle’ is a well-written black comedy, crafted by Yorkshire-born playwright, Janet Shaw. An enthusiastic poet and essay writer at school, she was to be middle-aged before she wrote the first of her dozen or so plays. With three daughters to raise alone – her husband divorced Janet after the birth of identical twins – she started writing short plays for her daughter’s school. Then came the Youth Theatre group. Janet remarried and ran a pub with her new husband.

This very funny and quirky play by the Stirling Players can be seen at 8.00 each evening, at the Stirling Theatre, Innaloo on Thursday, Friday and Saturday until 5th December. There are Matinées on Sunday 22nd and 29th November at 2.00 pm.

The newly carpeted foyer (thanks to the City of Stirling) has an impressive display about the play.

Bookings at Morris News 9446-9120 and Trybooking. Covid seating limitations still apply.

The Scene:          Brian and Linda’s spacious sitting room. Birkenhead, Merseyside in 2013

The Set:                One of the best sets that I have seen at Stirling. It was solidly constructed, beautifully decorated and well furnished. So often one can see the basics being supplied, same old flats often with last show’s paintwork; here we were given an airy loungeroom painted in pale grey with gleaming white woodwork and lace curtains. The sunlounge at the rear of the set presented a view of the garden beyond. There were folding doors and a waist high window showing the courtyard.

The furnishings included two two-seater settees, one in pale cream leather the other in a light dove grey fabric. The walls were adorned with modern but tasteful artwork. Splendid work from Barry Lefort and the builders (Ian and Carole Wilson, Richard Norman and Barry Lefort. The painting and décor were by Barry and Carole Lefort, superb floral arrangements by Karin Staflund)

The lighting design and the soundscape are by Ian Wilson. Ian managed to succeed in giving the room and even illumination glow with no dark patches. Well done. The sound effects were realistic and the music selection ranged from 1950s singer and bird impersonator, Ronnie Ronalde to the Bee Gees.

The stage manager Bronwyn Hammond and her team of Alexis Allegret and Suunaya Annert were quiet and efficient.

Linda (Fiona Forster) has planned the wedding of her 20 yrs. old daughter Nicola (Kym Norris) down to the smallest detail, but her mouth changes to a cat’s bum at the lazy, uncaring attitude of her husband Brian (Gordon Park), who is horrified at the expensive and massive spectacle planned for the big day. Wills (Alec Fuderer) their overtly gay next-door neighbour is desperate to help.

Brian’s rough Harley Davidson riding, Scouse mum, Dee (Ann Speicher) and Linda’s upper-class – but equally rough mouthed mother – Millie (Karin Staflund) both now in their 60s, have not spoken a word in more than four decades, and no one knows why. They get immense joy from berating each other but being the week of the granddaughter’s wedding, it is unfeasible to avoid the confrontations, the innuendos, sarcasm and downright awkwardness of the situation.

At Brian’s request Wills starts to delve into what happened back in 1969, skeletons tumble out of the cupboards at an alarming rate. When an old friend, Gloria (Carole Wilson) from Dee and Millie’s teen years arrives, things get much worse. Who is the enigmatic Jack (Richard Norman)?

Directed with skill and imagination by Barry Lefort, this very funny play with a couple of genuinely poignant moments is delivered by the fine cast. There is an excellent cast chemistry, with every actor being tuned into their specific character.  Newcomer Alec Fuderer has in the past year performed superbly in three hugely different plays and I hope the ‘powers that be’ recognise this new talent.

Gordon Park was very much at home as the annoying husband. The three ladies, Ann, Fiona and Karin were magnificent as the overanxious, caring but bitching parents.

Plenty of laughs throughout at this spicy, irreverent dialogue. A most enjoyable night in the theatre. Strongly recommended.