Theatre Royal Windsor – until Saturday 1 Feb 2020
Reviewed by Carly Burlinge
Ten Times Table by Alan Ayckbourn, Directed by Robin Herford is a play which focuses on a crew of committee members who meet up at an old ballroom local pub/hotel which is now a slightly rundown place called The Swan. Their goal to plan the Pendon Folk Festival in order to re-enact a historical street protest but unfortunately there becomes a divide within the committee causing all sorts of problems.
Run by Chairman Ray (Robert Daws) who’s character is very over chatty and smiley a little inexperienced but very enthusiastic with lots of expression. He likes to hear his own voice and is always thinking up ideas regarding his committee for upcoming events. Alongside him his wife Helen (Deborah Grant) plays a well dress character who speaks very loudly at almost everyone. Is very opinionated constantly moaning and can come across quite intimidating, bossy and demanding at times but loves a good gossip and seems to know everything about everyone. She seems to always have a serious matter or disagreement to raise within the committee. Their Secretary Donald (Mark Curry) comes across very organised in his role and very legit wanting everything done by the book, his strong beliefs can sometimes annoys others with his continuous chat as once he starts he just can’t stop himself. He is joined by his old mother Audrey (Elizabeth Power) who is there to write the minutes from the committee meetings but never quite succeeds due to her lack of hearing and fiddling around with various bits she sometimes doesn’t know whether she’s coming or going and is very humorous playing a great role making the audience laugh on many occasions.
Eric (Craig Gazey) who plays a slightly awkward and strange character is a little fidgety. He comes across quiet at first as he only answers with one word replies, then throughout the play finds his voice has a lot to say but is he enthusiastic or just mad!!!
He has Sophie (Gemma Oaten) another committee member on his side her brother Tim (Harry Gostelow) has other ideas and can not stand Eric (Craig Gazey) making him take control of the situation once and for all.
Also in their committee Laurence (Robert Duncan) who is having some marital issues and appears to be quite drunk most of the time and once on a role likes to chat and get everything off his chest.
With the first half of the show taking a slow approach you’ree kicked into place with a very manic fast and funny second half with costume mishaps, pretend horses, drunken individuals, wooden weapons and some fabulous piano playing by Audrey.
All in all this was a great show to watch with much excitement, fun and laughter had throughout.