Key for Two

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Key for Twoby John Chapman and Dave Freeman
Review by Nicholas Barker
On March 15th 1986 the curtain rose to reveal the opening scene of Stock Drama Group's production of "Key for Two", by John Chapman and Dave Freeman, produced by Babs Barnes.
After some rather hasty dialogue in the opening scenes where a few more "dramatic pauses" could have been inserted, the play settled down and one could now sit back and laugh with ease.
Mary Cole gave a very confident and credible performance as the cunning and crooked Harriet, a three timer with amazing organisational skills and a fictionally helpless mother -a scapegoat for any situation.
Harriet's "live in" lovers, Gordon and Alec, (Tom Griffin and Les Butler respectively) gave equally good support and carried the complicated plot smoothly onwards. The courageously contrasting accent of Mr. Butler was pleasing to hear, but until the entry of Joy Leighton (his wife Mildred, in the play) it was only then made clear that he wasn't an Italian Jew living in Huntingdon after all!
Meg Stratford as Anne was as reliable as ever and with her portrayal of "Nurse", with such throw away lines as, "I'll just see who's popped off in geriatrics", she had the audience in stitches.
The entry of her alcoholic husband, Richard (Bob Nafzger) lifted any remaining stolid atmosphere, and from this point on, the laughter just couldn't be restricted.
Magda, Gordon's dominating and spoilt wife, was perfectly portrayed by Olive Bartella, though I can hardly believe she qualifies as Mary Cole's mother, as was suggested in the script.
All the actors coped marvellously with the demands put upon them by the play (the unflinching Meg Stratford removed her clothing as calmly as peeling a banana!) and great credit must be given to Babs Barnes, the producer, and all those behind the scenes for making "Key for Two" the most enjoy able entertainment to emerge from Stock for some years - though isn't it about time some new faces appeared on the scene? Nicholas Barker
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