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July 2008 Articles:
the Style in Paphos
The ballroom at the
recently refurbished Annabelle Hotel was the setting for the
classiest event this summer, The Friends' Hospice English
Afternoon Tea Dance. This event was probably a first for
Paphos and certainly a first for the Annabelle.
A sumptuous tea, which
included all those old tea-time favourites of asparagus
rolls, crustless sandwiches of egg, cucumber or smoked
salmon, fruity scones with strawberry jam and cream as well
as a selection of pastries and cakes, was elegantly arranged
on tiered stands. Waiters were kept busy rushing more hot
water to accompany the choice of teas as the level of chat
caused thirsty tongues.
The Paul Woodhall duo
(keyboard and drums) hit just the right note with their
gentle music which was perfectly pitched for the kind of
dancing where men and women hold each other and sway
seductively in time to the music. How long is it since we
have seen this attractive sight? Applause greeted each set
in admiration of the whirls and swirls of the dancing
couples. All the women looked magnificent, and the men had
made gallant efforts to complement their wives, some even
No raffle was held as it was
thought too intrusive in such a relaxed atmosphere to pester
for money, even for such a worthy cause as the Friendís
Hospice. Instead one of the therapists from the Friends'
Hospice gave Readings from the Heart in private
consultations She had a steady stream of eager truth
Well over EUR1000 was raised
for the only working Hospice in Paphos. The Hospice thanks
sponsors Atlas International. Fairways Motors and the
Evangelismos Hospital for their support of the only Hospice
caring for those in last stage malignant disease or other
life limiting illness.
The Odd Couple at Stage One in Emba
By Ann Non (Nee Muse)
Shhhh! Come closer, I have to whisper. I'm going to tell
you, my dear, lovely new friend all about Stage One Theatre
Group's latest success "The Odd Couple (female version)".
Saw it Thursday and it was hilarious. Did I mention I'm
reviewing my friends? I've been spying on them for months
just to bring you - yes, you this secret report. I might be
looking for new friends, after this, eh?
The trouble with the plays at Stage One is this: you know
that it's all volunteers, but at some point, they get you to
think they're a professional company. We must be reminded we
are seeing real people do their best to improve. That's more
entertaining than a slick production handing you a packaged
product, isn't it?
"The Odd Couple" was first a play then became a popular,
very long-running American TV show. In "The Odd Couple
(female version)" Neil Simon revisits familiar faces and
places. The first act lets the audience gasp delightedly as
Oscar, now Olive, and Felix, now Florence - tell a familiar
tale. Director Caroline Harman Smith couldn't rely on the
guffaws that come from recognizing the characters and
current pop culture references, mind you, from the US and
from the 1980's, could she? This one had to tell a good
story and stick with it.
Lights up revealed a New York apartment so disordered you'd
think thieves had just vacated. A lady in front of me
whispered, "They've copied my decor!" The action takes place
in Olive's apartment and she's an absolute slob. Four women
are playing Trivial Pursuit in this pigsty. The connection
between Sylvie, acted by Gail Stokes and Renee, by Sue Crawshaw immediately drew us in for a closer look. Each
maintained a sparkling physicality throughout the evening
and they wisecracked just like New Yorker's do. Vera, played
by Dawn Charman hooked us into caring about these new
people. Vera is not very bright, you see and when bullied,
Dawn goes all turtle, pulling herself into a reflective
shell as if sorting out what that last insult meant.
Chrissie Jackson rounds out the ensemble as sensible Mickey,
a cop who's a bit of a coward. Chrissie uses her eyes to
great effect in reaction; two giant blue moons rise to meet
the audience when she's alarmed. She also herds these
kittens with the unflappable calm of a crossing guard.
Liz Pearce plays slovenly Olive, in her debut with Stage
One. Clearly she's done this before and can be trusted.
Great at timing and all other physicality but the smile
leftover from her musical experience slipped in, so she
wasn't a grouch although she certainly was sloppy. We meet
Olive's opposite, Florence halfway through the first act.
Now - between us - I once feared that Janet West was
determined to keep her lantern under a barrel. Guess what,
darlings? She's set fire to that barrel! Jan constructs
obsessive, compulsive clean freak, hypochondriac Florence
the way you'd have liked your house built, solidly, with no
shortcuts. She's so wonderfully irritating as Florence, the
audience ground themselves shorter teeth.
Along came two furry Spanish gents. Behind caveman toupees
and beards dwelt 'The Gazpacho Brothers', Peter Sandwith and
Ian Morson. Ian crafted his character, Jesus (pronounced
Hey-Zeus) with a balance of broad slapstick and realistic
nuances. His brother Manolo, played by Peter, also proved
more than a sight gag in a fabulously too big wig! Rather
than chew the scenery, Peter cements connections between
himself and first his brother, then later, Florence. This
furthers the relationships Caroline wisely forged all along.