“Oh, Good evening ladies and gentlemen, especially the ladies.”, said Alfred Hitchcock in the intro to one of his ‘Alfred Hitchcock presents’ episodes. The play you are to see this evening is Communicating Doors. It is a time travel thriller / comedy and is filled with subtle references to, " Back To The Future" and not so subtle references to Alfred Hitchcock's, " Psycho." I think therefore it is fitting that the master be quoted somewhere in this programme. I also do think that this play is particularly for the Ladies. More often than not females are often the love interest or the damsel in distress. While there is certainly a degree of distress in this play, there is no swashbuckling strong jawed hero to save the day, Sisters are very much doing it for themselves.
When presented with the task of directing my first Roan Theatre Company play I was under mandate to find a play that could accommodate both old time members and the new members we acquired in Nicholas Nickleby.
I was also then told that the production would be at the smaller venue of the club, which simply meant we would be looking for a play with a small cast and due to space constraints, a play set in one physical location.
Foolishly they never said anything about it being set in one temporal location. This year being the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who, I felt it only fitting that we pay tribute with a time travel romp, actually the Anniversary is coincidental, but it’s worth pointing out all the same.
The original play when first produced was of course designed for a much bigger venue, the original production included a full bathroom. Our set designer did mention this several times, describing the experience of designing the set akin to designing a rabbit hutch to house an elephant. I think Dave managed to cage the metaphorical elephant rather splendidly without us having to call in the metaphorical version of the R.S.P.C.A.
This play by Sir Alan Ayckbourn demonstrates the effect that chance meetings with individuals can have upon our lives, if there is a message within the snickers and belly laughs it is that.
Oh, In case I forgot to mention, there is also a fair deal of distress, suspense and jumpy bits as you would expect from a Hitchcock fan.
Stuart Mitchell-Smith, Director
COMMUNICATING DOORS. APRIL 2013
CHRISTOPHER SG MURRAY