Dangerous Obsession

Certainly nothing dangerous about Farnborough’s obsession with keeping the show on the road! After two years of local (and national) theatre lockdown, FDS pulled out all the stops on their return to Farnborough Village Hall 17 -19 February, playing to full houses over three nights!

It was indeed heartening to see a village hall packed with an audience totally absorbed in this psychological thriller performed by a cast of only three weaving a plot of not so much “who done it” but rather “would he do it”. It was also revealing to talk to one ‘senior citizen’ lady all the way from Crystal Palace for whom this was the first-ever experience of amateur theatre and, to her surprise, finding herself favourably comparing her enjoyment of the production as much as watching tv drama.

Be that as it may, local theatre is all about ‘jacks of all trades and masters of none’ which simply complements the time, effort and range of aspiring talent which dedicated teams of friends combine to create over a couple of hours: intriguing plots, convincing sets, technical expertise and great entertainment just a stone’s throw away from our own front doors and at a fraction of the cost of the West End.

And so it proved when Farnborough’s conventional village hall stage was transformed into a luxury home counties pad replete with real luxuriant hedge viewed beyond the windows together with carefully chosen detail on the set itself. Whether amateur or professional, for me at any rate, sets are an essential feature to my enjoyment of any production and so it proved with ‘Dangerous Obsession’.  

As no doubt readers have already surmised, it is not my purpose to indulge in theatrical criticism. Rather it is to promote our local societies and to this end, I am grateful to Hayes (Kent) Village Association and Bromley Theatre Guild websites for publishing my copy. Having said that, hats off to Holly Seijo, Martin Dale and Chris Franks for their combined performances in a play that involved the not inconsiderable feat of sharing two hours of gripping dialogue within a cast of only three.

Brian McEwan