Reviewed by Janice Bailey
Erik Strauts has returned to the Blackwood Players to direct a well cast, entertaining
production, ‘Love Rides the Rails’, written by Moreland Cary. If you love a good, old-
fashioned melodrama where you can hiss and boo the villain, and sigh with the heroine, you
will thoroughly enjoy this production, as I did.
Opening night attracted an enthusiastic audience representing a range of ages, even including
a baby who joined in with the audience interaction! The table seating, which allowed the
audience to enjoy a drink or a coffee, added to the pleasure of the evening.
Damien White was suitably sleazy and convincing as the dastardly Mr Simon Darkway, with
James Barbary as his equally despicable side-kick also delivering a strong performance – he
would have been equally at home in Oliver Twist or Fiddler on the Roof. Rosie Williams as
Miss Prudence Hopewell was well suited to the heroine role, injecting an air of vulnerability
and innocence. The remaining main players – Jarrod Chave as the hero, Mr Truman
Penedennis, Kay Kelly Lindbergs as Mrs Marigold Hopewell, Anita Canala as Madam
Carlotta and Annie Gladdis as Fifi were all convincing in their character portrayal.
Although I would have preferred they had learned their lyrics, the group of singers enthusiastically led
the audience in some well-known songs of the era, including “Meet me in St Louis”, “Daisy”, “By
the light of the Silvery Moon” and “Clementine”.
Good fun – and well worth a look!.