A wonderful night at the theatre
This week Knutsford Little Theatre presents “Mr Wonderful”, a play by James Robson written in 1997. It follows the hopes, dreams and reality of Norma Green, a single woman living in an old-fashioned terrace with her mother.
Norma has lost her self-esteem over the years, never meeting Mr Right but still dreaming of finding true love with a man who will save her from the dead end in which she finds herself.
Her mother Phoebe has confined herself to bed, accompanied by her special companion, a teddy bear called “Mr Wonderful”, her fond regard for the Queen Mother and a never-ending supply of her favourite sweets. At Phoebe’s insistence Norma has joined a dating agency and Phoebe’s day is spent picking out dates for her daughter.
Tina Buckley plays Norma, and is faced with the huge challenge of bringing this complex character to life which she carries off with ease. By turns she is warm-hearted, shy, melancholic, frustrated, nervous – a whole multitude of emotions as we follow her ups and downs.
The role of Phoebe is played by theatre favourite Betty Darbyshire. This is an absolute gem of a role and surely no one could do it more justice than Betty. Phoebe is terrified that Norma will leave her, but at the same time wanting her to find happiness. She is charming, vague, amoral and “a woman with a past”.
Mother and daughter have a complex relationship, rather more love than hate, which is gloriously brought to life by these two actresses.
One of Norma’s dates more successful dates is with Geoff Lazenby, played by Sean Duvall. Here at last is a man who is “a cut above”. Sean plays this suave, sophisticated role and is suitably heroic, sweeping Norma off her feet. But of course, the course of true love never runs smoothly, and the play throws in some emotional twists.
There a number of delightful little cameo roles played with relish by David Muncaster and Paul Baston that are worth seeing on their own. You’ll have to come and see for yourself!
Tickets are available on 01565 873515 and the show opens this Wednesday 11th and runs until Saturday 14th November.