2018 - Cafe Fear

The Russell Players production of Café Fear written by Paul John Matthews and directed by Chris Partridge was performed at Swallowfield Parish Hall over three evenings in May. The set, an excellent representation of a rough and ready greasy spoon café, was just the right setting for this intriguing tragicomedy. Tanya Rinaldi in her first appearance with the Russell Players and Alby Wright were convincing as two hard-nosed reporters who arrived to investigate the alleged cover up of a patient escaping from a local psychiatric hospital. The entry of Juliet Devon as Monique, the waitress in ghoulish white make-up and with stark black hair gave the audience a pointer that there would be some bizarre happenings in this play. Things became stranger as first Tessa Costin as a prim, cleanliness obsessed and bossy woman, and Mitch Mitchell as an irritatingly precise clever Dick arrived at the café. To top it all, Glyn Marshall arrived wearing a clown mask and carrying a gun. Confusion and violence ensued as the killings started. It seemed that any one of this collection of odd characters could have been responsible and in a clever twist, in the end it turned out to be Monique, The Polperro Poisoner who had fooled us into thinking she was dead, who was responsible for the murders. This was a well acted and directed play which kept the audience involved throughout with an interesting plot and a strong cast of characters. The evening was completed by the supper which had been organised by Lynn Marshall as Front of House – this helped to round out a highly enjoyable evening.

Nigel Adams

We were delighted to receive an email from the writer of Café Fear who watched Thursday’s performance and wrote:-

“Just to congratulate you all on your excellent production of my play Café Fear which I saw yesterday (Thursday) night. We enjoyed every minute of it: well acted, directed and staged, even liked the dead cat. Also well done with the venue/food.”

The cast and crew had a great time bringing Café Fear to life and hope our audiences enjoyed the evening.