Play Enjoys Successful Amateur Debut

The National Lottery is still very much a topic of the moment, so almost everyone can relate to John Godber's bittersweet comedy Lucky Sods which explores its effect on the nation.
And this week, the play moved from the professional to the amateur stage for the first time, being performed by Skipton Players at the Little Theatre. Lucky Sods was first performed by the Hull Truck Theatre Company last year, and having seen their production it's difficult not to compare the two. But it would be unfair to do so, due to the limitations faced in Skipton with regard to stage space, props and so on.
Nevertheless, the local thespians tackled the play well - even though it did at times lack pace and continuity - and judging by Tuesday's performance it is proving popular with audiences.
Briefly, the play follows the story of Jean and Morris, a normal, working class couple who happen to scoop 2million in the National Lottery - "the lucky sods". After their initial bout of elation, however, reality is quick to strike and things eventually turn sour for Jean and Morris, particularly as Jean continues to play the Lottery - and keeps on hitting the jackpot!
Tuesday's production got off to a good start, with excellent performances from Anthony Morton and Anita Mellin in the lead roles of Jean and Morris. Both had been well cast, and their performances were consistent throughout the play, with the portrayal of their characters spot on.
The continuity was slightly lost for a while with the first appearance on stage of Jean's sister Annie (Shen Morton) and brother-in-law Norman (Nigel Burrows), mainly due to a few forgotten lines.
But again both put across their characters well, even though Shen's actions were at times a little over-dramatic, while Nigel occasionally seemed a little slow in delivering his lines.
The pace soon picked up with excellent and humourous performances from Beryl Binns as Morris' mum Molly, and from Jean and Morris in their Beverly Hills holiday scene.
Isabel Fitzgerald put in another good performance as Morris' old flame Connie - particularly as she had to step into the part at just a week's notice. Others in the performance were Allen Lee Widdup as the Vicar, Brian Wakeling as the waiter, and Laura Daw as the waitress.
Lucky Sods is an entertaining and humourous play, written in Godber's own inimitable style, and it was interpreted well by director Mollie Thornton.
The production certainly gives some truth to the saying that money isn't everything- and certainly can't buy you love.

Review by Claire Walsh in The Craven Herald 12/07/96