by Tom Kelly
Margaret, Irene and Ruby are three elderly entertainers living in the ‘Autumn Doze’ Residential Home. They begin to rehearse to stage a tour but a few skeletons rattle out of the cupboard before their show gets on the road.
The play takes place over one evening.
Margaret More timid and circumspect than the others. She senses conflict and tries to avoid it. She still demonstrates a desire to perform.
Irene A buffer between Ruby’s dominance and Margaret’s sensitivity.
Ruby Dominant and sees herself as the group leader. She does, however reveal her insecurities
All three are mid-70
50 minutes approx.
Review from British Theatre Guide
Autumn Days is the name of the residential home in which Margaret, Irene and Ruby live. Ex-performers, they are attempting to liven up the dullness of their declining years by planning and rehearsing a show which they will take on the road – to other residential homes!
Each is a gem of a character, and it was perfectly obvious that the three actresses – Gwen Doran, Helen Russell and Jean Southern – relished every second of the play. And so did the audience, for it had everything: a little pathos, a lot of humour, singing and dancing.
Of course, the age of the actresses had a lot to do with it – all three started their careers entertaining troops, munitions workers and hospital patients during World War II – because it allowed some wonderful sight gags. I shall long remember the yodelling song in which Russell and Southern did a Bavarian “slap” dance (what is the proper name?), sitting down so they could slap their feet!
Preview available here
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