On Wednesday June 10th 2009 as most of London ground to a halt with the tube strike, 58 students from Drama Studio London (DSL) fought their way across the capital to perform in the DSL Graduate Showcase at the beautiful Criterion Theatre, Piccadilly Circus.
Our group chose to present an extract from Alan Ayckbourn’s classic play Table Manners from his Norman Conquests trilogy. The scene shows the calamitous events when the characters try to sit down for a pleasant meal together. I played the part of Tom the vet, whose attempts to cheer everyone up with a joke about cannibals does not go quite as well as he hoped…
…an extract from Table Manners – part of Ayckbourn’s Norman Conquests trilogy – also saw a five-strong ensemble sitting down to a meal and immediately establishing their sense of time, space and the inter-relationships between them. That’s partly the quality of the writing, naturally – good writing could virtually act itself. But these actors – Melissa Advani, Ben Galpin, Naomi Bullock, Andrew Williams and Helen Meadmore – bring something more to it. They entirely inhabit it.
Mark Shenton in The Stage, Thursday June 18th 2009
Cast in order of speaking
- Annie: Melissa Advani
- Tom: Ben Galpin
- Sarah: Naomi Bullock
- Reg: Andrew Williams
- Ruth: Helen Meadmore