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July 2007
House Guest
by Francis Durbridge

reviewed by Clare Wall in The Isle of Wight County Press 20/07/07
(reproduced by kind permission of
the Isle of Wight County Press)

WITH more twists and turns than a rollercoaster, keeping up with Cowes Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society's House Guest was at times a trouble.
Written by Francis Durbridge, House Guest is set in the home of celebrity actor Robert Drury and his wife, Stella.
They were played by Martin and Theresa Woolven, who dealt with the script well considering they had to perform 85 per cent of the lines.
The story began with Stella being interviewed by journalist Vivien Norwood (Carolyn Ferguson), a friend of Stella's secretary Jane Mercer (Maggie Pearman Taylor). Stella explains Robert is in Italy and he has the couple's son, Mike, in tow. But then Robert returns.
Without Mike.
Mike has been kidnapped by a man known as Crozier, who has told Robert not to tell the police.
Crozier, played by Paul Birch, then turns up holding a briefcase. He does not ask for any ransom but instead requests to stay at the Drury's home for 48 hours. Two police officers, Inspector Burford - played convincingly by Wayne Child and Sergeant Clayton (Ulus Bahcecioglu) arrive and take Crozier's place as the kidnappers. Again, the pair ask for 48 hours at the Drury residence but all is revealed when a Northern man called Henderson, also played by Martin Woolven, arrives.
There was a lot of shouting, crying, drinking of whisky and vodka, as well as two murders, more lies and more deception.
House Guest performed well but lacked the right level of tension to make it totally convincing.And there were so many twists in the plot that at times it felt a bit too far-fetched.
But CAODS did their best with this tale and should be congratulated for their portrayal and for conquering the immense script.


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