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September 2004
Up 'n' Under
reviewed by Kate Young in The Isle of Wight County Press 25/09/04
(reproduced by kind permission of the Isle of Wight County Press)

Rugby comedy Up 'N' Under currently being performed by Cowes Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society, is well worth going to see.

If you are not too shocked by the odd swear word or bare bum, this play performed at Trinity Theatre last weekend and tonight (Friday) and tomorrow -is great entertainment.

Written by John Godber -known for plays such as Teachers, On the Piste and Happy Families -Up 'N' Under is a rollicking good tale of northern underdogs striving to beat the big guys for the sake of a very important bet.

The team at Trinity Theatre has opted to do this play in theatre-in-the- round style, which allows them far more movement than would normally be possible and has worked really well for this performance.

Both director John Plumbly and the cast should be very proud of the way they have managed to recreate fast-moving rugby scenes and the shirt flicking trick to help the audiencence recognise who is in which team is masterly.

Dave Metcalfe, who is a real-life player for IW Rugby Club, stars as Arthur Hoyle, the gentle giant of a coach for the Wheatsheaf team who has so much to lose.

Geoff Day, known for many roles for CAODS and the Apollo Players in recent years, is suitably dislikeable as Reg Welsh, the boss of the top local team, the Cobblers. All the four key down- and-out players of the Wheatsheaf team are excellent. Phil Burland stars as divorced butcher Frank Rowley, Wayne Child is young apprentice miner Tony Burtoft, Paul Birch is midgett garage mechanic Steve Edwards and Chris Rickman is almost-upstanding teacher Phil Hopley.

Terrie Holbrook is also great as tough gym owner Hazel Scott while Steve Kimpton completes the cast as the groundsman.

All other parts of this performance - set, props, costumes and lighting are good and it is difficult to find fault with the technical aspects of the show -you will either love this tale of rugby or you won't.



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