Throwback #4

PLAZA SUITE (2007)

We are well overdue for this fourth look back to some plays from the past. This time we are still in the year 2007. Gordon Brown had recently replaced Tony Blair as PM, it was the Northern Rock crisis and a foreshadow of the financial turmoil to come, and the ‘worst ever’ floods to hit our area – before the words ‘worst ever’ became the norm.

Yes, it is thirteen years since we performed Plaza Suite and what fun we had.

About ‘Plaza Suite’

Produced by Rob Newton this was our first play of the new 2007/8 season, performed in October.

Plaza Suite by Neil Simon – a comedy in three acts, performed in October 2007

Plaza Suite first appeared on Broadway in 1968 before being made into a movie in 1971 with that stalwart of many Neil Simon plays, Walter Matthau, as the star. It is a play in three acts but feels like three one act plays because it is about three different sets of guests staying in Suite 719 of the famous Plaza Hotel in New York. Whilst Walther Mathau played the three different males in the movie it was an ideal opportunity for us to cast more of our members across the production.

That said, it also meant that we had to double up and Rob despite his directorial role had to be on stage for a couple of short appearances along with Tina who appeared as a bride but was mostly busy backstage.

Following on from Bedroom Farce with its three bedrooms and three beds crammed onto the stage it was a comparative joy to have just the one bed and the spacious sumptuous suite we needed.

The cast L to R; Rachel Miller, Phil Johnson, Gill Collins, Rob Newton, Tina Addington, Richard Bateman, Janet Drewery, Steve Howland, Jayne Hewson

The first act, Visitor From Mamaroneck, introduces us to not-so-blissfully wedded couple Sam and Karen, who are revisiting their honeymoon suite in an attempt by Karen to bring the love back into their marriage. The arrival of his secretary creates issues…

Scroll through the following three short slideshows….

In Act Two, Visitor from Hollywood, is a meeting between movie producer Jesse Kiplinger and his old flame, suburban housewife Muriel Tate. Muriel – aware of his reputation as a smooth-talking ladies’ man – has come for nothing more than a chat between old friends, promising herself she will not stay too long. Jesse, however, has other plans in mind and repeatedly attempts to seduce her..

Neil Simon always includes one act that is more farcical and the bigger laughs are saved for  Visitor from Forest Hills. This revolves around married couple Roy and Norma Hubley on their daughter Mimsey’s wedding day. In a rush of nervousness, Mimsey has locked herself in the suite’s bathroom and refuses to leave.

Backstage crew: Back row from left; Rob Newton (Producer), Tina Addlington Nic Johnson. Front row from left; Diane Turner, Barbara Failey.
IT SEEMS UNFAIR THAT WHILST ROB SHOULD BE REMEMBERED AS THE PRODUCER OF THIS MEMORABLE PLAY THIS VISION OF HIM AS THE BELL-BOY IS FOREVER IN OUR MINDS…. AND POSTING THIS PHOTO WILL ENSURE THAT IT IS NEVER FORGOTTEN (SORRY ROB…. )

More throwbacks soon!


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