Nigel Stone went to see Noel Coward’s Nude With Violin, performed by the Adel Players …
It’s a testimony to Mathew Newby’s performance, that when his character; the pompous and odious Colin Soridin, is slapped in the face, by the scene stealing Stella Garside, as Cherry-May Waterton, I wanted to cheer.
I was enjoying The Adel Player’s production of “Nude With Violin” by Noel Coward, when Colin got what he deserved.
The play is Coward’s mildly satirical stab at the sometimes pretentious world of modern art; although in this case, modern meant vintage (the play being written in 1956).
Colin is the son of the late Paul Sorodin; a renowned French painter; and is one of those people who would never regard an unmade bed as a work of art. Cherry-May is one of a number of women from the artist’s past, who turns up, to open a can of worms.
The play itself isn’t one of Coward’s strongest, but it is brought to life enthusiastically by a strong cast.
Hats off to David Pritchard in particular. I lost count of the number of languages his character; valet Sebastian, had to speak, throughout the performance. And Beth Duce, as widow Isabel Soridin, brought to mind some of those wonderful performances you used to find in the old “Carry On” movies, by the likes of Joan Sims.
The voice of reason was brought to the stage by Rachel Newby, as the likable daughter Jane Sorodin.
Although there wasn’t a weak link in the cast, it was slightly distracting to see the stage hands bringing on, and removing props between scenes; but there’s very little you can do about that, when there’s no curtain to fall, other than dim the lights.
Despite this minor gripe, The Adel Players can give themselves a pat on the back. The stage was nicely set, the production was smooth, and the cast seemed to be enjoying themselves, just as much as the audience.
Despite being more a fan of Coward’s “Still Life”, and despite being someone who can see the artistic merits of a pile of bricks, I did enjoy this production.