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  • The Cemetery Club was an 'intelligent, funny and heart-warming comedy'

    Henry James

    The Cemetery Club by Ivan Menchell

    Ormskirk Theatre Company

    Toby Carvery, Ormskirk

    A SOPHISTICATED Jewish comedy which brought laughter and tears in equal measure and provided a most enjoyable night's entertainment in this cosy bijou theatre.

    A cleverly designed set featured an attractive front room of a house where three ladies meet each month to lay flowers on the graves of their respective dead husbands. Alongside were the three headstones representing the cemetery.

    The acerbic verbal exchanges between the women, as they demonstrated how they adjusted to their bereavements, were worthy of Neil Simon at his best.

    Barby Filllingham played Doris, a professional widow, emotionally chained to her lost love, whereas the glamorous Lucille (Pat Baker), dressed to the nines in a fake mink coat, couldn’t wait to tell her friends about all her latest conquests, revenge for her late spouse’s constant philandering.

    The quiet Ida (Sue Morris) was ready to start dating again, but only if she found the right man. When along came Sam (Dave Smith), a lonely widower, she and he got together and started dating, much to Lucille’s envy and Doris’s disapproval.

    How long are people expected to grieve? Doris and Lucille warn Sam off, saying it was wrong of him to pester Ida who ‘needed more time to mourn’.

    The widows are invited to a wedding as bridesmaids, Lucille replete in a hideous blue wig. Sam turns up with a younger woman, Mildred (Ann Todd).

    Ida is distressed and the three widows retreat back to the house and get drunk in a riotous scene where a few home truths are told.

    This was a play that held the interest from start to finish, in turns both poignant and hilarious. A great success for the company whose next production in July is their version of the popular TV comedy, ‘Allo ‘Allo!

    Star rating 7 out of 10. An intelligent, funny and heart-warming comedy.

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