Building Blocks

Tyldesley Little Theatre

Runs until Saturday – 01204 655619

There is always tension and stress when home improvements are being carried out and TLTs latest production emanates this in abundance. Bob Larbeys play, which centres around the building of an extension could mistaken for an episode of cowboy builders! The set was just right and furnished as you would expect with scaffolding, cement mixer and bathroom suite to boot!

Homeowners Jim and Mary Baxter are hoping the building work will be ready in time for the arrival of the first child – which has still to be conceived! Whilst this side of the plan goes as planned, the building works take a little longer, with plenty of twists along the way.

Ian Taylor and Carly Lomax play the married couple admirably with the right mix of comedy, tension and hysteria. Both turned in credible performances and convincingly took us along their journey of getting the builders to “finish the job”. Two good all round performances.

Bricklayers Mark and Piper, played by Alex Clarke and Mark Sutcliffe are convincing as they strive to spend at least one full day at the property without being asked to “go to another job” by their employer, David, played by Bill Rodgers. Rodgers displayed some great acting ability when taking Mr and Mrs Baxter through the many detailed excuses of why the job has yet been finished. His feigned heart attack was played very well and it wasn’t until his final entrance at the end of the play that we knew he was actually still in the land of the living. You could hear the audience sigh as he took a deep breath to deliver yet another gem of an excuse.

Brian, the carpenter, played by TLT veteran Ian Hunter provided the most laughs of the night. Hunter’s delivery of one liners and his comedy timing had us stitches every time. This polished delivery seemed effortless to Hunter whose facial expression never changed throughout – a great comedy performance.

Andrea Peters, who made her directing debut with this play, should be proud with the result. The set was used well and the direction was clear. The animation provided in the background by the builders whilst David was in full swing presenting the excuses of all excuses to the Baxter’s was excellently set and played.

This play closes TLTs 2011/12 season and they can be assured that they have delivered yet another quality season.

Paul Cohen