Production 191 An Experiment with an Air Pump

An Experiment with an Air Pump (2016)By Shelagh Stephenson

Performed on Wed 1st June to Sat 4th June 2016 at The Astor Community Theatre

 

 

 

The Cast

The Cast

Joseph Fenwick/Tom Paul Curd
Susannah Fenwick/Ellen Claire Middleton 
Harriet Fenwick Sarah Holman
Kate Shirley Linsdell
Maria Fenwick Savannah Manning
Peter Mark Roget Ieuan Briers
Thomas Armstrong/Phil Joe Harris
Isobel Bridie Debbie Pinfold 

Production Team

Production Team

Director Duncan Currie
Producer Debbie Pinfold
Set Design Gareth Winters
Set Construction/Painting Mike Flynn, Rebecca Murphy, Mike Pinfold, Howard Rendle & Gareth Winters
Prop Construction Gareth Winters
Stage Manager Brett Linsdell
Backstage Dressers Mike Flynn, Howard Rendle & Maggie Rendle
Prompt Jocinda Higginson
Film Editing Mike Pinfold
Lighting/Sound The Astor Tech Team
Costumes Debbie Pinfold
Photography Gareth Winters & Damian Davison
Poster Debbie Pinfold
Programme Duncan Currie & Debbie Pinfold
Publicity Jon Mabbs
Front of House Duncan Currie, Kai Handley, James Peacock, Erin Pinfold & Mike Pinfold

Previews

East Kent Mercury:

East Kent Mercury People - Paul Curds

East Kent Mercury People - Joe Harris

 

 

The Gallery

The Gallery

 

Reviews


Review of 'An Experiment with an Air Pump' by Shelagh Stephenson
Wed 1st to Sat 4th June 2016
The Astor Community Theatre, Deal.

East Kent Mercury Review


Elsa Lewis
Lioness Writing Ltd
Published in the East Kent Mercury, 9th June 2016

We are introduced right at the play's opening to Joseph Wright's painting of the same name, familiar to anyone who has visited the National Gallery in London. Like this painting, the drama covers enormous subjects: scientific ethics, the nature of love, the industrial revolution and women's rights, to name but a few, and under the skilful directorship of Duncan Currie, the Guild Players pulled it off. Covering such weighty ideas could have led to quite a serious and dark play, but the moments of levity afforded, for example, by Joe Harris' hilarious Geordie electrician, made for a wide range of emotions. Debbie Pinfold was an excellent tragic heroine, and managed quite a dangerous-looking stunt in the closing scenes - all credit to the set design and construction department for staging that effect. The play is set in two eras at the close of the 18th and 20th centuries within the same imposing stately home. Paul Curd, Claire Middleton and Joe Harris skipped between the centuries with numerous costume changes and showed great skill as they conveyed both the demanding script and the very different atmospheres of each age. Ieuan Briers gave an earnest and believable portrayal of a gentleman scientist and Shirley Linsdell as Kate, the ambitious modern businesswoman, gave science a positively alluring sheen, important to the balance of the arguments presented. Aside from their wonderfully ridiculous costumes, the notion of progress was cleverly explored by Sarah Holman and Savannah Manning, whose sisterly spat was one of the many highlights of the evening. It was an evening provoking much thought, as well as more comedy than one might expect from the subjects covered. The gravity of the final scene was quite arresting and a poignant mirror to the title painting.


Elsa Lewis
Lioness Writing Ltd
Published in the East Kent Mercury, 9th June 2016

 

E-mail communication received by The Astor Community Theatre, from audience member
Just to thank the cast and producers of Experiment with an Air Pump for a really great experience. We were on the edge of our seats and discussing the plot and laughing and groaning with the to and fro of the action. It was a such a good play, good set, fast action and a thoroughly excellent evening. Well done team and well done Astor!
Best wishes
FC, 6th June 2016

 

Personal e-mail communications to cast member
I understand now why you wanted to be part of this production. The play is totally immersive. The costumes really help separate the time zones and enable the audience to follow the plot. We loved it. And yes you probably did hear me, with others, laugh. I thought the comic timing worked well. But what you did not hear was the silence. The disgust felt by the audience over Armstrong's betrayal was palpable. Tonight was brave am/dram at its best and all the cast and crew can feel proud. I think that showed at the curtain call.
TC, 3rd June 2016

 

Personal e-mail communications to cast member
It all looked pretty good from Row C last night. Really enjoyed it. Amazingly complicated production for a small theatre - very inventive. Brilliant - how do you remember all those words?
SS, 3rd June 2016