Review of Oh Carol! by The Ad Hoc Players

What do you do when someone you love is teetering on the edge? Do you hold them back or jump off and fly with them?

Oh Carol is the touching tail of Martin Wallace (played by Liam Mannix) a man who has finally meet his one true love, Carol… However, there is something odd about Carol, she is not your typical girlfriend and Martin’s friends do not seem to approve.

The character of Martin is a large part to play, with a wide range of emotions portrayed throughout the night and Liam does a fantastic job of interpreting this role for us. Liam kept us on the edge of our seats, leaving both us and his friends questioning his motives and if we could really believe what we were seeing with our eyes.

Candy Lilywhite-Taylor played Alison, Martin’s supportive Sister. She was the character the audience’s heart called out to the most and Candy did well at showing us the character’s strains and stresses, often without much dialog.

Andrew Spong played Martin’s workmate, Jason, and he was one of the funniest characters of the night, often making the audience laugh with his one-liners and antics. He was a friend you could imagine taking down the pub, and it was a shame that the character was not in the show that much, especially in the second half.

Lindsay Lovell and Martin Wilderspin played Pippa and Dave a couple that are fantastic to be around, when they are not arguing. The pair did a great job between them of showing the disbelief of the situation.

Hilary Martin plays Gwen, a stressed mother who is trying to cope after the death of her husband (God rest his soul). Hilary and Paul Ganney, who plays Dr Stone, do a great job at portraying the older generation’s reaction to the madness of Martin and his love of Carol. Paul in particular was extremely funny and I looked forward to seeing him in every scene. All of the characters had spotlight scenes, giving the audience a glimpse into their minds, but Dr Stone certainly had some of the funnier ones

The set was clever, with very little moved through the night and several rooms on show at a time, this allowed scenes to occur in different rooms all at once. This also often gave the audience a glance at what each character was doing, even though they may not be the focus of the scene.

The show was extremely funny and certainly a worthy tribute to 20 years of the Ad Hoc Players. I look forward to seeing at least 20 more years of shows from the group

Oh Carol is at The Brentwood Theatre between the 18th – 20th May 2017, 8pm. Tickets available at ticketsource 

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