Robin Hood

by Heather Adams-Officer

December 2018

Reviewer: Douglas Clark

Written and directed by club stalwart Heather Adams Officer this version of Robin Hood was full of fun, good music and excellent choreography from the opening chorus of “Men in Tights” through “You Can’t Stop The Beat” to what has become the traditional finale “Reach”. Katie Ironside was a traditional thigh-slapping principal boy and was well matched by Abbey Patterson as a spirited Maid Marion. Heather Adams Officer as the blue-suited Minstrel did well as narrator of the piece keeping the audience and the cast on track. Murray Lawson, in his first principal role, made a handsome – if dim-witted – Little John, a fact which did not go unnoticed by Garry Brindley’s dame Nursie. His lecherous looks and actions, along with his rendition of “Man! I Feel Like A Woman”, had the audience in stitches. Tim Roberts was striking as the man in red Will Scarlett and Lewis Maitland, again in his first principal role, was a genial Friar Tuck. Andrew Dart as the Sherriff of Nottingham, the villain of the piece, had the audience booing and hissing well at his dastardly attempts to capture Robin and then marry Marion. In these endeavours he was assisted - or should that be hindered – by Liz Forrest’s Quincey Quiver, whose facial expressions were a delight! Strong support was given by Heather Stewart (robbed Man), Joanna Murray (Peddler) and Peter Esson (King Richard). The highlight of the show for me, and for the rest of audience as attested by their reaction, was the superb rendition of “Jobs (If I Were Not In Pantomime)” by the Merry Men, Nursie and Quincey, a combination of witty lyrics and immaculate comic timing – how one of them didn’t end up knocked over or with a black eye is a miracle! Costuming was bright and appropriate filling the stage with colour. The set, built by company members, was relatively simple but very effective and the lighting added much to the atmosphere. Congratulations to all at the Ury Players for once again bringing colour and laughter to the local community at this cold and dark time of year!

Breezeblock Park

by Willy Russell

22 June 2018

Reviewer: Gordon Smith

It was a refreshing change to be invited to review a play and a Willy Russell one made the anticipation even stronger. The action takes place at Christmas time where family members have gathered to celebrate the season. Phrases like “all for show” and “keeping up with the Joneses” sum up the hilarious mood but with Willy Russell’s astute character observations there is of course much more going on. Housewife Betty carries the play and Lynn Zaccarini painted her character beautifully right from the opening curtain with Garry Brindley’s effortless portrayal of her hen-pecked husband, Syd, a good foil. Heather Adams Officer played Sandra their daughter with the right amount of sullenness. Macho Jimmy, Betty’s brother performed with ease by Andrew Dart, takes no time in extracting Syd’s secret flirtation at work. His wife Vera however finds it hard to get a word in edgeways with Betty. But with Liz Forrest in the part she manages to convey her feelings in a wealth of expressions. Betty has her match in sister Reeny. Freda Adams tackled the part with a soft voice which barely conceals her steely determination to be one-up on everyone. With Douglas Clark as her car-obsessed husband, Ted, he is a very convincing support for his wife, while their seemingly perfect daughter Janet is performed with style by Heather Smith. It is only when Sandra’s secret boyfriend, Tim played very ably by Tim Roberts enters the fray that we discover Sandra is pregnant and has no intentions of marrying. Shocks follow when the audience learns the rather sinister reason for Janet’s meek demeanour. The characterisation, comedy timing and diction throughout was impressive. A truly entertaining evening.

Puss In Boots

by tlc Creative

9th December 2017

Reviewer: Brian McDonald

This was a colourful production with excellent costumes and lots of laughs. Dame Hettie Quette (Garry Brindley) growled his way cheekily through the panto. Douglas Clark’s diction was crystal clear and his portrayal of King Herbert was beautifully brow beaten until the end when he asserted himself right regally! The Narrator (Heather Stewart) oozed charm as she guided us through the story. Jack (Kirsty Lockhart) and Puss (Heather Smith) had me believing cats could talk, with Puss’s make-up and costume being especially superb. All the cast shone throughout but special mention goes to Andrew Dart as Lord Roger, whose confident stage presence and first class diction made him a baddie par excellence. The dancing was very good and the music, which was mostly pre-recorded, was well chosen. Directors Russell Adams and Gordon Smith did a slick job of getting a polished performance from the Ury Players. All in all a dazzling display. It certainly got the audience and me in Panto mood – oh yes it did!

The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen's Guild Dramatic Society: “Murder Mystery”

by David McGillivray and Walter Zerlin Jr.

16th June 2017

Reviewer: Ron Stewart

I was delighted to be dragged out of “retirement” to cover this show for my successor Gordon, who was on holiday. It has always been a delight to attend the Ury Players’ plays in Stonehaven Town Hall and this trip was no exception. This comedy has probably the longest title in theatre but on this occasion the smallest cast playing numerous characters. How the members of Ury Players even remembered who they were at any time during the show beats me but remember they did and the collapsing set, falling pictures and confused props brought back many memories of on-stage disasters over the years. The murder mystery is set in the drawing room of Checkmate Manor where the family are gathering for the reading of Sir Reginald Bishop’s will. In total control at all times was Lynn Zaccarini as the club chairperson Mrs Reece. As director of the play she oversees everything as well as playing the parts of Clarissa Rook, Regine the French Maid, Patricia Bishop, Letitia Bishop and Mr Goodbody the  Solicitor. Freda Adams as club member Thelma played the various roles of Daphne Bishop and Rose Bishop while Liz Forrest as Audrey, held the parts of Lady Doreen Bishop, Mrs King, Violet Bishop and Joan Bishop. (Are you still following all this???) Heather Stewart as Felicity, handled the roles of Pawn, the Butler and Colonel Bishop with aplomb while the final character in the piece was the only male in the cast, Tim Roberts as Gordon, playing the rather confused at times Inspector O’Reilly. Add to all the murders and mystery the addition of a hilarious song and dance number, a “fashion show” and audience quiz and you had the totally confusing, but superbly entertaining evening of dramatic farce at its best expertly produced and directed by Fiona Westland. Thank you Ury Players – once again!


by Heather Adams-Officer

9th December 2016

Reviewer: Gordon Smith

I was delighted to cover this performance for my first assignment outwith my own district. A bright lively start to this production was provided by Buttons enthusiastically played by Mary Robertson. She would certainly give the Duracell bunny a run for his money! The scene was further set for the classic Cinderella story by the appearance of the suitably evil stepmother performed by Liz Forrest. Then it was hold onto to your seats as the two Ugly Sisters, Salmonella and Listeria made their entrance, living up to their names and reputations. King Victor (Douglas Clark) was convincingly regal, while Prince Charming (Kirsty Lockhart) and Cinderella (Tamara Scherwitzel) were delightedly matched in their singing and acting performances. They were very ably supported by Katy Ironside as Dandini. When the Ugly Sisters weren’t keeping the audience entertained, more humour was at hand with comedy duo Rough & Ready (Tim Roberts and Freda Adams). Two mice in the shape of Ellen Hay and Heather Smith ably assisted the magic of the Fairy played nicely by Heather Adams Officer. The clever choice of music was provided by a combination of backing tracks and live playing by Morag Hill (piano) and Amy Makepeace (drums). Individual mics were not used in this production and the company did well to project and be heard over the hiss and boo of the lively audience who were engaged throughout. An entertaining and enjoyable production, enhanced by some lovely touches provided by the dancers and chorus members. The very cleverly staged arrival of Cinderella’s coach receiving well deserved applause. Well done to all.

The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen's Guild Dramatic Society: “Chase Me Up Farndale Avenue, S'il vous plait!”

by David McGillivray and Walter Zerlin Jr.

17th June 2016

Reviewer: Ron Stewart

Another offering from the “Farndale” series described as “a comedy tres saucy” by David McGillivray and Walter Zerlin Jnr. And this it certainly was with the five cast members playing several characters and even at times exchanging characters - the audience at times must have been completely confused – as I am sure the cast were!! In the great tradition of farce this was a superb production from the opening ”hoover” capers of Heather Adam Officer as Felicity the long legged French maid to the whole company performing an energetic can-can led by the excellent quartet of dancers – Chloe Christie, Aisling Doyle, Mary Miller, and Tamara Scherwitzel (memories of “Orpheus)! The main upholders of the great farce tradition of course were the members of the Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen’s Guild Dramatic Society entertaining their continental guests from Stonehaven-sur-Mer and the catastrophic happenings when things went awry. These were things which struck chords in all of us who have been involved in the amateur theatre – and probably professional too – with the wardrobe mistress who had to step in for a missing actor and read from the script, hilariously handled by Liz Forrest as Minnie. The chairman of the guild, Mrs Reece (Lynn Zaccarini) tried masterly to keep things under control while her friend Thelma (Freda Adams) was more interested in the goings-on of her husband and his “companion” in the lighting box. The sole male member of the cast, Gordon (Tim Roberts) landed in every farcical situation imaginable with the ladies – and the cross-dressing “males” as well. A number of technical happenings like collapsing sets, upside-down doors and sound mishaps all added to the fun. An absolutely outstanding evening of good old-fashioned comedy played by a very talented group of actors. Thank you Ury players.


by David McGillivray

11th December 2015

Reviewer: Ron Stewart

Opening with a very impressive Abanazar (Andrew Dart) in his palace this traditional panto proceeded to entertain with top rate performances by a very talented cast. Mary Miller was a very energetic and demonstrative Wishee Washee and Garry Brindley gave an outstanding performance as Widow Twankey, keeping the comedy of the piece moving at a great pace. More comedy was ably provided by Heather Adams Officer and Liz Forrest as the two policemen Ping and Pong, giving the audience plenty to cheer about. Kirsty Lockhart carried off the traditional principal boy role with ease as Aladdin and Tamara Scherwitzel was an extremely attractive Princess Jasmine nicely supported by Heather Smith as her companion So-Fa. In the role of the Emperor of China we saw Douglas Clark as a somewhat new character for him!  More comedy was provided by Russell Adams as the Genie of the Lamp and Tim Roberts was the Slave of the Ring. With a very competent troupe of dancers, and well balanced singing chorus and a superb range of costumes and many local references, the show provided excellent pre-Christmas entertainment for the enthusiastic audience.

Dirty Dusting

by Ed Waugh and Trevor Wood

19th June 2015

Reviewer: Ron Stewart

This production was promoted as "a hilarious adult comedy." This it certainly was with a capital 'A' for adult. This play certainly required a broad mind and providing you realized this, it was a complete hoot from start to 'revealing finale!!' The piece, brilliantly written by Ed Waugh and Trevor Wood, tells the story of three elderly cleaners who are faced with being replaced by an agency made up of younger, more efficient 'environmental hygiene improvement operatives' as part of a money saving 'rationalisation process'. Elsie (Lynn Zaccarini), Gladys (Liz Forrest) and Olive (Freda Adams) are determined that they are not ready for the scrap heap and plan to prove it. As their final weekend of employment looms they decide to come up with a way of pepping up their pay-offs and inspiration comes in the form of several 'funny phone calls'. The three decide that they will set up a sex chatline from the office and hence the 'Telephone Belles' open for business. As you can imagine the humour is decidedly rude, crude and near to the bone-not to mention other parts of the anatomy! However it is written and directed so skilfully that we - and the rest of the audience - spent most of the two hours doubled over in hysterics. The one-liners came thick and fast from the brilliantly portrayed three ladies hardly giving us time to catch our breath. The three women were given the perfect foil in the shape of Dave their bossy supervisor, played for all its worth by Garry Brindley. The three brilliant actresses were never off the stage and not one single prompt was heard. An excellent production with a very well designed and constructed set made for a hilarious evening of farce, obviously enjoyed to the full by a near capacity audience. Well done Ury Players.

Space Odyssey: The Pantomime

by Russell Adams

12th December 2014

Reviewer: Ron Stewart

This original story, written by director Russell Adams told of the efforts of a spaceship captain and his wife to find a suitable lady friend for their somewhat "challenged" son Horace. As the villainous, but henpecked captain Vlad, Douglas Clark was in excellent form. With clear diction and impressive scarlet costume he commanded the stage and everyone on it apart from his wife Svetlana (Freda Adams) who controlled him! Other spaceship crew members included Spick and Speck (Mary Miller and Emily Esson) who carried the comedy of the piece with ease. Love-lorn Horace was ably played by Robert Affleck who was suitably spoiled by his domineering mother. Final crew member was iPatch the computer, cleverly depicted and played by Bill Barclay. Leading the "earthlings" was Nellie Packit, superbly portrayed by Garry Brindley, the superbly traditional panto dame, who managed to include "commercial breaks" for the company's sponsors. As the ever-necessary fairy Sophie Angus was beautiful but could have projected a bit more to cope with the lack of microphone assistance. The romantic couple, Bonnie Packit (Rosie Hall) and Prince Valiant (Kirsty Lockhart) were in excellent voice and the talented cast was completed by Pete Smith as Costa Packit and Tim Roberts as the robot Gordon - he WAS alive!! Beautiful costumes and well-drilled choreography by the young chorus made for a most enjoyable evening of panto. Well done.


by Richard James

20th June 2014

Reviewer: Douglas J. Clark

Stonehaven Town Hall was transformed into the village green of  Thornton, a typical English village, on the day of the annual fete – complete with sideshows and stalls and festooned with colourful bunting. The stage had been turned into the Home Produce and Vegetable marquee, the setting for Richard James’s comedy mystery, ready for the evening’s entertainment. And entertainment the full house audience certainly got from the cast of 7 and the script full of red herrings and witty dialogue! Pete Smith, a last minute cast replacement, played the part of the irritating Malcolm obsessed with winning the largest marrow competition very well. His murder towards the end of Act 1 was not unexpected!  Heather Adams Officer as Bunny, his long suffering and neglected wife, was excellent as was Mary Miller as Trish the put-upon and overworked fete organiser. Tim Roberts, as the less than honest Father Mike, looked every inch the typical village vicar. Andrew Dart, as Nigel the historical re-enactor and admirer of Bunny, in his Viking warrior costume and increasing intoxication was hilarious. We had our victim, we had our suspects but who was going to solve the murder! This was in the hands of the wonderful comic pairing of Garry Brindley and Liz Forrest as TV detective Inspector Brady aka Ray Martin and his greatest fan local spinster Violet Parmenter. Almost “Rosemary and Thyme”-ish they worked their way through each of the suspects until stumbling on the truth almost by accident! Who did kill Malcolm? Well as the old adage has it – many hands make light work! Well done everyone concerned for a delightful summer’s evening entertainment.  

Peter Pan


6th December 2013

Reviewer: Douglas J. Clark

This pantomime version of the well known story was adapted for the society by the Director and so played to the strengths of the large cast beautifully. Catriona Macdonald as Peter Pan played the part with just the right mix of daydreaming and thigh-slapping bravado and interacted well with Ailsa Mackintosh’s sweet portrayal of Wendy Darling. Andrew Cameron’s Captain Hook was suitably overbearing and eminently boo-able and was ably assisted in his dastardly deeds by Emily Esson’s Smee. Also in his crew were Mainsail and Rigging, played by Kirsty Lockhart and Pete Smith respectively, whose comic antics had the audience in stitches. Garry Brindley as the toyshop owner Dotty Darling, was truly outrageous and the song and dance routine with Russell Adams’s Chief Passingwater, to Love Is In The Air, had everyone in fits of laughter and with tears running down their faces!  Andrew Dart played the ever-so-proper John Darling well and his romancing of Mary Miller’s Tiger Lily was delightful. Assisting with Hook’s downfall were two wonderfully doric–sounding comic rats Bubonic and Plague played by Freda Adams and Liz Forrest and his nemesis the Crocodile played with a lovely welsh accent by Tim Roberts. Flitting in and out of all the action was Olivia Park as a beautiful Tinkerbell. The large chorus of, at various times, pirates, townspeople and Red Indians moved and sang well. The sets were bright and colourful and I particularly liked the use of an extension to the front of the stage as the lagoon from which the Crocodile made his entrances. The hard work put in by the cast, crew and production team shone through and once again the Ury Players gave the local community an excellent evening’s entertainment.

Murdered to Death

by Peter Gordon

21st June 2013

Reviewer: Ron Stewart

Once again the welcome at Stonehaven Town Hall was an exceptionally warm one and the hall was decorated as part of Bagshot House, the setting for this Peter Gordon comic spoof with strong flavours of Agatha Christie. The piece opened with a delightfully sung "Let's Face the Music" by Catriona Macdonald which set the scene for the lady of the house Mildred - nicely played by Lynn Zaccarini and her niece Dorothy (Emily Esson) to set the scene for the ensuing mystery. The droll butler Bunting (Russell Adams) made a spectacular entrance to introduce dotty Colonel Craddock (Douglas Clark) and his domineering wife Margaret (Liz Forrest). More guests appeared in the person of snotty Elizabeth Hartley-Trumpington (Heather Adams Officer) and French (?) art dealer Pierre Marceau (Tim Roberts). The final guest, albeit uninvited, was Miss Maple (Freda Adams). Following the mysterious shooting of the hostess with the Colonel's mislaid revolver, Constable Thompkins (Pete Smith) and Inspector (acting) Pratt (Andrew Cameron) entered to take over the proceedings - and the comedy with the aptly-name Pratt confusing everyone, including himself, resulting in many hilarious incidents, including a David Jason style fall through the dining room door!. Ury Players also included an interval quiz for the audience to name the murderer(s), which I'm afraid I only got half right. Thanks again, for a most enjoyable evening of well-produced and acted theatre.

King Arthur - a Pantomime Adventure in Camelot

by Paul Reakes

7th December 2012

Reviewer: Brian McDonald

It’s pantotime in Stonehaven – Oh yes it is!! After a mystical opening we arrive at the colourful court of Camelot. Enter King Arthur with his domineering Queen Guinnie. Both were played excellently by Tim Roberts and Garry Brindley respectively. They were well matched on the dark side by Morgana and her son Mordred. Helen McMillan oozed wickedness while Andrew Dart’s Mordred was splendid. His Beck’s mumsy voice was hilarious. Russell Adam’s Merlin let slip there could be a “Murrderrr”, sending the audience into hysterics. On the side of good Emily Esson’s Sally Simple was superb, ably abetted by Peter Smith as her boyfriend Squirt the Squire. Lois Donaldson and Kirsty Lockhart were a personable pair as principal girl and boy Olivia and Lancelot. The costuming was imaginative particularly the dragons and ghouls. These used movement to good effect. We all left happily at the end due especially to an excellent production cleverly conceived by Douglas Clark. A great night out!

‘Allo, ‘Allo

by Jeremy Lloyd and David Croft

15th June 2012

Reviewer: Ron Stewart

Stonehaven Ury Players production was dedicated to a former member who loved a good story about the war and this was certainly a good story about the war superbly produced and acted. The atmosphere was set right from the opening of the doors with a welcome to Café Rene with excellent accordion music in the continental style by David Martin. The café tables were well decorated and I must thank Reg. Rep. Douglas for the fine picnic box which he kindly left us while off on the high seas! The cast, of course, had to be compared with the television show and compare they certainly did. Kevin Newstead was an excellent Rene and made the most of every comic double entendre, ably supported by Liz Forrest as his talented? wife Edith. No Café Rene would be complete without the glamorous waitresses and this we had in Kirsty Lockhart and Lois Donaldson as Yvette and Mimi respectively. Equally appropriate were Rachel Smart as Michelle and Peter Esson (Leclerc). In the German camp special mention must be made of Murray Deans a former youth members who stepped in at extremely short notice to take over the role of Lieutenant Gruber on the unfortunate illness of Andrew Dart – and a faultless performance he gave. Emily Esson was an excellent Helga and her scenes with Herr Flick (Tim Roberts) were hilarious. Others in the large cast were in excellent form and Heather Adams Officer made the most of her jumbled lines as Officer Crabtree. All in all an extremely enjoyable evening of comedy theatre. Thank you, Ury Players.