The Golf Umbrella

by William Douglas Home

18th – 20th November 1999

Robert, a failing playwright, is inspired to write his next play on the theme on adultery. Having read the first draft, his wife Susan claims his seduction scene lacks realism and Robert admits that he has had no experience whatsoever with extra-marital affairs. Susan decides to provide him with the experience he needs for his research, and arranges a romantic liaison for him with an old flame, Sheila. Susan makes herself scarce while Robert sets to wooing Sheila, who unfortunately realises all too soon that she is being framed and proceeds to foil his plans. Deflated, Robert phones Susan at her mothers to let her know that their plan has backfired – however Susan is elsewhere, and we are left wondering whether she is carrying out a seduction scenario of her own!

golf umbrella

The Cast

Sheila: Tracey Pearce
Susan: Enid Farr
Jim: Ian Hickling
Robert: Eric Saxton

Produced by Dave Hawkins

Newbury Weekly News review

A fine foursome

Villages in and around Newbury seem to bring out the best in Community spirit and Compton is no exception.

The village hall was packed for this production which had only four members in the cast and an excellent back-up team. The scene was a room in the house of Susan and Robert, a playwright with writer’s block and his wife. The set was well designed – just the right mix and comfortable enough to be realistic.

The play centres around Susan and Robert, and their friends Sheila and Jim. (I do wish William Douglas Home had chosen another name. Sheila and Susan can get quite confusing!)

The characters’ roles developed quite early on and it was apparent that the four cast members were equally skilled in making conversation on the stage look effortless, with particular credit going to Eric Saxton whose delivery of lengthy dialogue and telephone conversation was brilliant. Even when he stumbled, he picked up the threads with ease.

The author has produced a play with twists and quirks to it and managed to make it humorous without becoming farcical. The chat-up between Sheila and Jim was superb. We even learnt a lot about Brent Geese!

I understand that this play was written many years ago and yet its theme is timeless – marriage, affairs, and a chance meeting of old flames.

The professionalism of the cast and crew was as good as many London stage performances. An enjoyable evening.