Trivial Pursuits

St Paul’s AODS Astley Bridge

Until Saturday

A SUMMER evening’s barbecue is the setting for a meeting of the Bolton & District Operatic Society for a pleasant few hours of small talk, laughter and friendly conversation.

An idyllic scenario, yet not in the world of Frank Vickery’s Trivial Pursuits where the underhand manoeuvring, petty intrigue, and egos of a small Amateur Dramatic society are laid out for all to see. Next season's play is to be announced but Nick, the society's business manager, has promised a different show and the plum roles to four different people.

Director Allen Christie Casson has gathered a group of experienced and talented actors to produce this comedy in what is the start of St Paul’s 90th year celebrations.

Ian Duckworth played Nick the director very well and the fact that he cannot get the barbecue to light gives a clue as to the way the evening is going to go.

Jenny Peters played Roz, Nick’s organised and down to earth wife, who holds the group together until she realises Nick has been using his directorial influence too intimately with the company’s youngest female recruit. Carmella Horne played her sister Joyce, the once talented but now a bit passed it leading lady. Good performances from them both.

Carl Bottomley played the societies’ camp luvvie Teddy with real ease. The final scene was something not to be missed.

A good confident performance from Eileen Powell who played the humourless Mona as a bit of a diva and Suzie Woodley was the society’s treasurer who knows the truth of the dire financial situation the company is in. Helena Carter was Jessica, one of the four who tried to manipulate Nick, a very confident portrayal.

Brendan Higgins played the emotional Derek extremely well with many of his one-liners getting big laughs. His soon to be ex, wife Deidre was played with ease by Jessica Haslam. Both worked well together. Deidre’s escort for the evening, the television obsessed Eddie was played very well by Robert Peters. A nice little cameo.

There are not many groups in Bolton that can claim 90 years of togetherness, this production was an example of dedication from a small group of people that value the support from their audiences. Go see it! Visit for times and tickets.

Jason Crompton