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Derek Le Page, More Acting Adjudications

The Sleeping Beauty by Stephen Curtis - ‘Lord Chamberlain’. January 2003

I don’t know if it was deliberate but that first costume of yours was very reminiscent of Sir Thomas More, which was ideal for your position within the Court. While Lord Chamberlain at the beginning of the story you certainly had the right slightly toadyish attitude towards the King and the Queen. At the same time you left us in no uncertain manner with the feeling that you were way above anyone else in Court. The change in attitude when you were lowered in rank was extremely well done. There was a certain cynicism in the manner in which you responded to the orders you were given and certainly you couldn’t say that you accepted them all with a good grace, which was perfectly correct. You also proved that you were no mean hand when it came to putting over humour in song as you did with the Postman in ‘Fings aint wot they used to be’ but when it came to timing probably your best moment of the entire evening came when you announced ‘I’m not much of a catch now’ to which the audience replied ‘Aah’ and your response of ‘thank you’ was absolutely perfect. As was that Terry Venables-like lift of the eyebrows a little later in response to a line from Damn. When you were reinstated there was just the right amount of formality in your acceptance of a marriage proposal from Leonora. A quietly controlled characterisation, which captured the authority of the Lord Chamberlain.

The Happiest Days of Your Life by John Dighton - ‘Rainbow’. Adjudicator Barbara Smith LGSM ALAM ADB October 2001

The stereotype school porter – we have all met them – dour and finding every task inconvenient to do at that particular moment. I liked his accent and his wonderfully careful centre-parting hairstyle. His reactions were well timed and expressive – e.g. his reaction to ‘a bit moth eaten’. His measured pace of movement as he went about his tasks was again perfect for the character as was his measured pace of dialogue delivery. Good agitation on the phone when trying to get through to the Ministry. His entrances and exits to change the playing field goals were well timed and in perfect character style. In Act 2 his ‘look’ on exit and “I’m going to put my kettle on first” was delivered with excellent timing. This was an excellent piece of character acting from a performer who was fully aware of comedy play.

Ten Times Table by Alan Ayckbourn - ‘Donald’ ROSEBOWL BEST ACTOR NOMINATION. Adjudicator Barbara Smith LGSM ALAM ADB April 2000
Everything about the playing of Donald projected the pedantic local Councillor and the finicky bachelor living with his mother and taking great care of himself – even down to the precise low hair parting – and vocally taking great care to give precise ending to words. A first class characterisation was projected and sustained. In the first scene his timing was excellent with his interruptions over procedure and spelling and his eagerness to assert himself – his serious delivery over suggestion of forming a Trust rang many bells! The fussy walk and his care and business with Mother, the careful removal of his gloves and scarf in the second scene, his careful eyes down when Laurence did his drunken speech – all with excellent focus and perfect body language. I appreciated Donald’s pullovers and hats and the meticulous manner in which he wore his clothes which visually further enhances the excellent characterisation. There was a telling moment when an underlying vicious streak appeared with his response to the Committee’s rejection of Mother playing the piano “Of course, if the Committee feels…”. Masterly vocal pitch and timing. His input over the Pendon Players and Moby Dick was again well delivered with a true sense of comedy timing. The input in the final scene was played with a fine physical control of the farcical situation. This was a first class piece of performance and a totally believable character was projected.
ity to a tee but never overplayed it.

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