Proof - by Daniel Auburn
17th, 18th, 19th January 2008


Robert Andrew Rogers
Catherine Lisa Maule
Hal Dan Cooper
Claire Emma Middleton
Production Team
Director Mark Langham
Production Assistant Lynn Marsh
Stage Manager Jean Cooper
Properties Howard Platt, Lucy Parkin
Continuity Wendy Butler
Set Design & Construction Stephen Radley
Lighting Design Terry Tew
Sound Design Mark Langham
Lighting Operation Tim Stevens
Sound Operation Lizzie Lynch

Review by Jacquie Stedman

I must begin by saying how much I enjoyed the production, both from an artistic standpoint and from an entertainment perspective.  After all that is what the audience pay for and at the end of the day they expect as professional a performance as you can possibly produce.

Having the curtains open as the audience arrives give them time to study the set and ‘get their bearings’ with the actual setting of the piece.  Good atmospheric music leading in to the opening scene.  When the father raised his arms on the word ‘angel’ in the lyrics  it raised the question of whether he was real. No eye contact from Catherine led one to believe that she could only hear him.

The stage could have been darker at the start of the play as it was supposed to be past midnight.  The set was well constructed and solid.  It appeared that some thought had been given to having piles of leaves and unkempt plants, pointing to neglect of the garden and the security light worked well when Hal came out of the house.  

Very good scene after the funeral – beautifully played between Catherine (Lisa Maule) and Hal (Dan Cooper).  There were excellent characterisations from all the players to the extent that one felt irritated with the bossiness of Claire (Emma Middleton) and Catherine’s inability to be firm when the suggestion of moving came up.

During this Act, I was very unclear where the play was going, particularly after reading the notes in the programme about genius and madness.  However this was a very watchable Act and one was impatient to see just where the plot would lead.

Careful with facial expressions (Catherine) and try and make them more defined.  Try not to let it seem as though they are not intentional.  When speaking with passion (Act ll – Robert (Andrew Rogers)) remember not to rush or shout or the words will become distorted.  

I think this play was very well written and well interpreted with an excellent cast of superbly drawn characters, and good interaction/relationships between them.. Because of the portrayal of the characters the audience actually cares about them and their past/futures.

I felt I wanted to smack the sister because she was so bossy BUT she had funded Catherine &Robert’s life for some time so she felt that she had some say in the future.

Act ll answered many of the questions posed in Act l (and quite rightly) but the comparisons between life 4 years ago and present day were particularly marked  with well defined differences between the players over the time span.  Everyone was much more upbeat in the earlier time frame and this was highlighted.

However I felt this play posed as many questions as it answered and we were left wondering:

Was this a play about the proximity of genius and madness?

Did Catherine write the proof?

Does she go to New York ?

Why was Hal interested  - was it for herself or just the proof?

Was she going to go the same way to madness as her father?  

A play which poses such questions even after the action is over stays with one, particularly when several permutations are possible.

Congratulations to all concerned.  This production was a joy to watch and a great credit to the society.  I look forward to visiting you again in the future.