Bunkered – Top of The Torrens

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Bunkered is a comedy by Lynn Brittney set somewhere near the coast in Britain in a Naval Intelligence Cold War Bunker,  manned by four naval personnel nearing retirement. The bunker was decommissioned in 1991 and the staff were made redundant… except somehow they continued to receive monthly pay cheques from the Ministry of Defence computer system. Peter, a Chief Petty Officer with a strong sense of responsibility, decides to bring in a friend, Harry,  to get all the equipment up to full working order. What results is that Naval Headquarters start getting signals from what they thought was a defunct facility and  call in the Marines, with hilarious consequences.

 

This is Maureen (Mo) Johnson’s first foray into directing and she must be commended for her efforts. The four main characters are well cast. Tracey Holder is convincing as Second Officer Joan Morris, delivering a confident performance that cements the production. David Evans delivers a natural enactment as the affable Chief Petty Officer Peter Burrows. Glynnis Burrows plays Mags with obvious enjoyment and although there were a couple of fluffed lines, her calm manner ensured they were well covered or recovered! Rounding out the main characters is Nicolaas Voorendt as Harry, the amiable anarchist. An experienced performer, director and technician,  Voorendt is a wonderful addition to the TOTTs team and a stand out in this show.

 

Although Bunkered is written primarily for senior actors, the production also gives opportunities to two younger performers whose performances are also notable: Commando Connor played by William Melbourne and Midshipman Taylor played by Rebecca Holder.  Melbourne is hilarious as Connor, with his machine gun at hand,  who is actually afraid of being in confined spaces. Holder is enthusiastic as his eager trainee who has to cope with restraining Connor when his panic gets out of hand. I hope we get to see more of these young performers, and others like them, in future TOTTs productions.

 

This is a true farce, the set is simple and static and the comedy is dependent on the execution of the lines, which were mostly timely and effective. On opening night there was a large and supportive audience who laughed freely and applauded loudly. Nerves were evident but dissipated as the performance progressed. With a raffle in interval, inexpensive tickets, byo drinks and supper, this is a wonderful community event and deserves good attendance. 

Bunkered
Top of the Torrens Theatre Group
Mount Pleasant Soldier’s Memorial Hall
https://www.trybooking.com/book/event?eid=441320&